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COVID testing still important despite dip in numbers, infectious disease expert says

Infectious disease doctor emphasizes importance of getting vaccinated
Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 18:17:52-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Fewer people in South Florida are getting tested for COVID-19 as more people get vaccinated, but doctors say it's still necessary.


Testing is usually performed because people have symptoms for the coronavirus.

Medical experts say the decline in the number of people with COVID-19 is the reason for the decreased number of testing performed.

Information supplied by the COVID Tracking Project's website shows Florida's COVID testing data from December to March.

COVID testing January 2021 to March 2021 in Florida
COVID testing January 2021 to March 2021 in Florida

The last time Florida saw a spike for COVID testing was on Jan. 30 with more than 200,000 residents, according to data supplied by the COVID Tracking Project's website.

The numbers have declined since then, showing just more than 64,000 people were tested in Florida as of March 6.

MORE: Decrease in people getting tested for COVID-19 has some health officials worried

Infectious disease doctor Lyssette Cardona of Martin Health said the decline in testing is a result of more people receiving the vaccine, are less symptomatic or are vacationing.

She said just because testing is slowing down, doesn't mean we should let our guards down, otherwise there be could be a risk of another wave of infection.

Dr. Lyssette Cardona
Dr. Lyssette Cardona, chair of infectious diseases at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, stresses the importance of everyone getting the vaccine.

She emphasized the importance of getting fully vaccinated, especially as new variants of the virus are emerging.

"When you are protected, you're not spreading it to your family members, your friends and in the community. So, someone who is immunized can transmit less. For yourself, if you are immunized, you tend to have milder disease and hopefully be less transmissible to others," Cardona said.

Testing can detect the current variants, but it's something they are monitoring in case a new mutation develops.