In early 2021, the CEO of Pfizer said that the public may need more protection through a booster dose even after getting fully vaccinated. Moderna also has plans to make a third booster shot available to Americans by the fall after they are done with its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
This would mean we will have to get tested continuously to make sure we are fully protected and non-infectious. As the world opens up and resumes normal activities, it has become necessary for public and private entities to conduct COVID-19 testing for an extended period.
CAL-OSHA has even put forth guidelines encouraging employers to offer free testing to all employees as the workforce returns to the office. Sports facilities and stadiums may have to run tests on ticket holders before they are allowed inside the venue. Passengers may have to undergo mandatory tests before they board a flight or train. We know that even fully vaccinated individuals are not fully protected against COVID19 infections, and with vaccination rates falling short of Biden’s original goal, this push for continued testing and vigilance is an integral part in mitigating another surge in cases.
While testing people for COVID-19 has been one of the key steps in its management, the focus seems to be waning as public interest is shifting to vaccinations. But that’s a mistake, health experts say.
Jeremy Levin, chairman of the global Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) says, “Testing is a core part of a public health campaign to defeat any epidemic or pandemic.”
He adds that COVID-19 testing helps serve multiple functions:
In a recent editorial of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), leading infectious disease authorities stressed the importance of continued COVID-19 testing to manage the pandemic. According to researchers, continued testing also empowers healthcare providers because with the information they have, they can:
Researchers are concerned that one reason for the drop in testing is that the tests are being displaced by vaccines. Public Health Departments do not have the capacity to do both efficiently. At Total Testing Solutions, we are proud to offer both testing and vaccinations to the public, and can offer both services in the same appointment for those who are interested.
The Federal government has also recognized the importance of testing and has put a focus on ramping up testing initiatives since the start of the pandemic.
Of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package announced by the government, nearly $48 million will be spent on support testing and contact testing. Experts have hailed this decision as a major move that will help boost testing capacity and track the spread of the virus in real-time.
The new initiatives introduced by the government covers:
To simplify the testing process and reach as wide of an audience as possible, at-home testing has become a popular way for individuals to get peace of mind without needing to visit a test site or medical office.
With most at-home test kits, patients have to collect and mail a sample to a lab for analysis and results. Concierge testing is also available through TTS to improve accuracy with sample collection and reduce turnaround time due to not having to ship samples. With a concierge service, a nurse would visit the patients’ home and handle all steps of testing the same way it would occur at a test site, including delivering the samples to the lab by hand.
Testing will continue to be a critical part of COVID-19 pandemic management. If you believe you have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing symptoms, getting tested is the only way of knowing your level of risk. Whether you’re visiting family, traveling, attending an event or conference or simply want peace of mind, schedule a COVID19 test with your local provider - or use the link above to book at any of Total Testing Solution’s sites.