Why COVID-19 Testing is Declining

As the vaccine rollout continues, researchers are noticing a decline with COVID-19 testing. The director of clinical virology for Cleveland Clinic explains why that is.

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CLEVELAND – As the vaccination rollout continues, researchers are noticing a decline in COVID-19 testing, which is a big change from this time last year.

“Testing is usually performed because people have symptoms, and so the decline in number of people with COVID-19 is the reason for the decreased number of testing performed,” said Gary Procop, MD, Director of Clinical Virology for Cleveland Clinic.

He said testing is generally only needed if a person is showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, has been exposed to someone with the virus, or if it’s required for another reason, like returning back to school.

He said just because testing is slowing down, doesn’t mean we should let our guards down too. Otherwise, we could risk another wave of infection.

Dr. Procop also emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated, especially as new variants of the virus arrive here in the United States.

“By decreasing the amount of disease in the community, you decrease the amount of variants that can emerge. So, thus another reason to push hard to see this pandemic to the end. Because if you had a variant that was fully resistant to the vaccination, we could be back to square one and none of us want to repeat this,” said Dr. Procop.

He said as of right now, testing can detect current variants, but it is something they are monitoring in case a new mutation were to develop.

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