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Prominent epidemiologists and medical professionals are advocating the introduction of an inexpensive rapid antigen immunoassay tests similar to a home pregnancy test. Prototype COVID-19 tests are being developed and are under evaluation to be commercially available later in the year. The demand for rapid tests is based on the reality that highly sensitive lab-based molecular (PCR) assays, which measure viral RNA, may not yield a result for most people even those with symptoms for periods from four to 10 days.


For safety reasons, many retailers are requesting contactless forms of payment during a transaction. Those retailers who do accept cash payments have been asking customers to use exact change. The combination of people staying home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and the preference toward using credit/debit cards for health reasons have yielded some interesting economic results during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nicolas Ziebarth, the Ekelund and Hebert Associate Professor of Economics, shares his opinion on whether a cashless business model is likely, and what some of the effects of such a shift might be.