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COVID-19 Testing Lines Growing Says Ingham County Health Officer

Linda Vail photo
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, speaking with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday

An Ingham county official says lines for COVID-19 tests are getting long, largely because people are getting tests for the wrong reasons.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says people are rushing to testing sites because they may have been exposed to someone who has the coronavirus out of a sense of urgency.  “If I was exposed to somebody today," Vail explains, "I’m not going to get tested for a week at least, because the bottom line is my body has got to incubate that virus, or I’m going to get it before I test positive.”

Vail adds that testing too early after exposure doesn’t change the fact that you need to quarantine.

Additionally, Vail says some of the demand is due to the erroneous idea of getting tested before going to gatherings or taking a trip. “So you see people deciding that the way to go to social gatherings instead of not going to social gatherings is to test first and then feel like it’s safe for them to go to social gatherings because they’ve done that testing or they’ve done that traveling," Vail concludes. "We’ve got to get people to stop doing that.”

The demand is also adding to the time it takes for people to get test results.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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