SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Health officials worry a lack of coronavirus testing is behind a downward trend in new cases. Testing sites across the Coastal Empire are operating at full-speed, but fewer people are showing up.
“If you feel like you’ve been exposed and you have any kind of symptoms, get tested,” said Bulloch County Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn.
That message is one Wynn has been repeating for months. But a recent decline in testing numbers has him worried. In early September, the county was testing more than 900 people each week. Right now, they are testing about 500 people.
Despite testing fewer people, Wynn says the average positivity rate is slightly increasing. In four days, Wynn says it increased by nearly one percent.
“The slight uptick in the positivity rate tells me that there is still virus spread out there,” he said. “I think maybe the public is feeling a bit safer with this. They have seen across the state of Georgia that the virus numbers have come down but we’re getting into flu season.”
That is something also worrying Coastal Health District Health Director Dr. Lawton Davis. Both officials say now is the time and the year to get a flu shot, which can protect the recipient and other members of the community from contracting influenza.
“If enough people are immune, we’ll drastically reduce the circulation of the flu virus in the population,” said Davis.
Last week, the Coastal Health District tested nearly 2,500 people. The number has not been that low since the beginning of June.
“With less community transmission, we have fewer people who are being exposed and who are suspected of being exposed, so there are fewer people that are going to be tested,” explained Davis.
He says his department is now running pop-up testing sites throughout the district every Wednesday. Information is coming soon about a drive-thru flu clinic at the Civic Center. It is happening next Wednesday.