Coronavirus Testing Has Its Pros and Cons, UF Epidemiologist Says

Originally published on July 8, 2020 8:13 am

More people are being tested for coronavirus in Florida as cases spike across the state. This is causing a logjam, 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 deployed by the state can produce quicker results and identify positive cases right away. But they are not as accurate as standard tests, and that's 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. So there may be some value again in rapid testing there, but a lot of caveats associated with that kind of testing,” Prins said.

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

Prins was a guest Tuesday on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

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.

She said the pressure on contact tracers is increasing 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,” Prins said. “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.”

To see more about coronavirus testing, visit The State We're In Facebook page.

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