COVID is spreading as fast as previous waves, testing company says

AUSTIN (KXAN) — We don’t see many Lines around the block at test sites across the country, but the Curative co-founder says the positivity rate the company is seeing in patients is higher than it was during the first three COVID-19 flare-ups and is approaching Omicron levels as of December.

Combine that with the lowest testing numbers we’ve seen since July of last year, and Isaac Turner says COVID-19 is likely spreading right under our noses in our community.

“We’ve been seeing high positivity since mid-April, so we really believe there are a lot of people out there with COVID who just aren’t testing with a lab that reports to public health,” said Isaac Turner of Curative. He also notes that home testing is likely to play a large role and that case numbers are underrepresented.

“A lot of this, I think, comes from people’s confidence that COVID is over, but our positivity rate and viral data suggests that COVID is spreading a lot more than people really realize,” Turner said.

As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported about 10% of U.S. counties in the “high” risk category for COVID-19. The risk levels are low, medium and high and are determined based on three factors: the number of new cases in the past seven days, new hospital admissions in the past seven days, and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

“We’re seeing a steady increase in case numbers and hospital admissions, which is incredibly worrying,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Department. “We need everyone to do their part, especially those who are at higher risk. Wear a mask indoors when gathering with others. We know this will help protect loved ones at risk for poor outcomes and our hospital system.”

The CDC has the following recommendations for people, depending on which one COVID-19 community level where your county is located:

Low risk

  • Stay up to date on COVID vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

Medium risk

  • Same precautions as for low risk and:
  • Talk to your doctor about wearing a mask and taking other precautions if you’re at high risk of serious illness

High risk

  • The same precautions as for medium risk and:
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Extra precautions may be needed in individuals at high risk of serious illness

You can check your county’s risk level on the CDC’s interactive map.

“We all experience mask fatigue, but wearing a mask is necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay,” said Adrienne Sturrup, Austin’s director of public health. “Testing and vaccinations and boosters are also vital. Take a test and stay at home even if you only feel mildly ill. Ask your doctor’s office or one of our clinics about your vaccines.”

https://fox2now.com/news/national/covid-spreading-as-fast-as-during-previous-surges-testing-company-says/ COVID is spreading as fast as previous waves, testing company says

Nate Jones

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