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The State We’re In: Rapid COVID-19 Testing Causing Logjam

More people are being tested for coronavirus in Florida as cases spike across the state. This is causing a log-jam, not only in getting tested, but also in receiving results.

Dr. Cindy Prins is an epidemiologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

She says rapid tests recently implemented by the state can produce quicker results and identify positive cases right away.

But they are not as accurate as standard tests, and something to consider for anyone who wishes to be tested.

“What we’re seeing right now is just an overload of the system and then we’re not being able to get those results back as quickly,” said Prins.

“So there may be some value again in rapid testing there, but a lot of caveats associated with that kind of testing.”

In addition to testing, health experts point to contact tracing as one of the most effective ways to stem the steep rise of coronavirus cases in Florida.

Prins said the demands on contact tracers are growing sharply as they try to reach more people who may have been exposed to the virus.

People may feel inconvenienced by the phone calls from tracers, she said. But it is a necessary step in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of the disease.

“Really, all they’re trying to do is try to prevent more cases of COVID-19. So I really would ask them sincerely to please talk to these contact tracers and let them do their job to help protect other people.”

Prins was a guest today on The State We’re In – a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE. To see the full conversation and find out more about coronavirus testing, visit The State We’re In Facebook page.

This story is produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


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