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Douglas County sees decline in COVID-19 testing

Doctors say testing is crucial
Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 19:41:09-05

OMAHA, NEB. (KMTV) — Douglas County Health Department has reported a decline in COVID-19 testing, since the late November-early December peak in cases.

According to the health department, a little more than 14,000 people were tested for the coronavirus during the week of November 21. This past week, just under 4,000 people got tested.

Health officials say that the downward trend could be due in part to the decline in cases; although less infection is good, they say we still need to continue testing.

"I think that undoubtedly if we had a larger percent of the population getting tested we’d see more cases because the sneaky thing about this infection is in some people it could be asymptomatic or could be very mild symptoms," said Dr. Mark Rupp, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. Rupp said many people are experiencing COVID fatigue, but explained that avoiding testing is irresponsible.

"I think there are probably some people avoiding testing, who are having symptoms, because they want to avoid the hassles of isolation someday from public health getting ahold of them and trying to track their contacts those sorts of things. That’s unfortunate, that’s an irresponsible socially irresponsible position," Dr. Rupp said.

While vaccinations have been underway, we're not in the clear just yet.

"It certainly is good news that we’re getting people vaccinated, but we don’t have enough people vaccinated yet to really relax yet," said Dr. Anne O'Keefe, Senior Epidemiologist for the Douglas County Health Department.