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Continued COVID-19 testing crucial to containing pandemic, according to UW Health

Published: May. 17, 2021 at 12:13 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:52 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - While vaccination numbers increase across the state, COVID-19 cases continue to circulate.

UW Health officials say keeping up with COVID-19 testing is a crucial part of containing the pandemic.

“Testing serves two purposes. One is for the individual patient who might have symptoms or who’s concerned they might have been exposed,” said Dr. Nasia Safdar, Medical Director for Infection Prevention at UW Health. Dr. Safdar continued to explain, “the other big reason is to guide isolation and quarantine practice.”

There is still a large population of individuals who are unvaccinated and spread of the virus is on the rise among youth.

Even if you are vaccinated there is still a small chance you can contract the virus. “It’s true that the vaccines are very highly effective and some people are taking that to the extreme of thinking that it’s 100% effective and of course nothing is 100% effective so you can still have infections despite being vaccinated,” said Dr. Safdar.

If you are exposed or experiencing any symptoms UW Health says its best to go get tested.

“If someone has mild symptoms they may think that it’s just a cold and they may recover, which is great, but it still has implications for spread and transmission and it needs some behavior modification. So, for instance if you’re at work and you start to get symptoms at the very least you would want to put on your mask and leave and go home and get tested,” told Dr. Safdar.

UW Health can test more than 500 people a day at its drive-thru testing location at 3819 John Wall Drive, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dr. Safdar said the number of people getting tested has decreased in recent months. She explained that, “the numbers have come down a bit, which I think reflects the prevalence of disease in the community, because the number of patients with symptoms coming into our settings has also gone down.”

All testing at UW Health is free and the turnaround time for getting results will likely be very quick.

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