Experts say seek COVID testing if you feel symptoms, even if vaccinated

Is COVID testing down?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The number of cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations is down, but so are testing numbers and that could be a good sign.

But, with only a portion of the state vaccinated, testing is still important.

COVID-19 testing has fallen in Alabama since the beginning of the year with a few exceptions, with roughly 3,800 tests reported today according to Bama Tracker.

The percent positivity, that’s the number that’s critical to getting an overall look at where COVID spread stands, is also down to a 7-day average of 7 percent, a big improvement post-Christmas numbers. However, if a person is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed, even if vaccinated, the guidance is still to seek out a test.

“It’s still very important that we diagnose these individuals who are getting new infections even though we have entered this area where fortunately, many folks are getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Ellen Eaton, UAB Infectious Disease expert.

Those who have received the first shot of the two-dose sequence with Pfizer and Moderna are still vulnerable to COVID-19, and even after the second dose it takes a couple weeks to reach immunity. For Johnson and Johnson, the one-dose vaccine also requires two weeks post-jab to reach immunity. And even then, a person can still become infected with COVID-19; however the benefit of the vaccines is that if you are one of the fewer than 1 percent of people who contract COVID after vaccination, the effects of the virus are very mild. In fact, the vaccines have been proven to prevent hospitalization and death across the board. Up-to-date information is posted on the CDC’s website.

Eaton noted there are still clusters of cases throughout the country and testing is the best way to identify problems.

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