In recent weeks, fewer Michiganers have been tested for coronavirus than during the fall surge, despite the trend, hospitalization, and positive test rates since fall 2020. I will.
Approximately 2 million fully vaccinated residents of Michigan do not need to be tested in most cases unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
State health officials say their testing strategies have evolved to focus on who to test rather than achieving set daily goals, but residents are tested. That is still important, and the latest positive test rates indicate that it is not doing as expected.
Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Senior Public Health Doctor at the State Department of Health, said: “We really need people to be willing to take the test, and I’m not talking about being tested only once during a pandemic.
“Even with vaccines, the tests will be with us for a long time as we approach herd immunity. For some time, we will still have outbreaks and breakthrough infections, so we will test our infrastructure. Must be incorporated. “
Last week, Michigan had an average of 40,790 PCR tests per day, and two weeks ago there were 35,622 PCR tests per day. However, when daily tests peaked at 68,765 in late November, neither average is approaching the fall surge.
In fact, by 2021, the weekly average has yet to reach 45,000 PCR tests per day.
In addition to PCR testing, the state reports about 13,893 antigen (rapid) tests per day. This is not as accurate as a molecular PCR test, but it can identify possible cases of COVID-19 and is usually faster. They are not calculated to a positive test rate.
There are now more antigen tests used than in the fall, which may also account for some of the decline in PCR tests. The state provides antigen testing for nursing homes, schools, and other facilities.
MDHHS epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo said there was no set goal for how many tests would be done per day. She also said that more tests could be performed than reported to the state, excluding some negative test results due to the “very painstaking” reporting process. Shown.
“We know that not all negative test information comes back to us,” she said. “Therefore, our number of tests may underestimate the overall tests being conducted in the state.”
Health officials want people to continue testing if they have symptoms and / or if they are in close contact with someone who has been identified as suspected of being infected. Free site is available, State Online Test Finder, Here, Or by email [email protected], Or call 888-535-6136 between 8 am and 5 pm on weekdays.
The biggest concern for health officials is the positive test rate, averaging 15.8% in the last seven days, the highest since April 2020. On Wednesday, 17.9% of 32,386 PCR tests returned positive for SARS-CoV. -2.
A high positive test rate means a high level of viral infection and / or an under-tested test. The ideal percentage is 3% and the worst is 5%.
Michigan’s positive rate has risen for six weeks, up 348% in the last eight weeks, to about 3% on February 19.
Throughout the state, all eight regions of the state have increased positive test rates from a minimum of 3 weeks (Jackson region) to a maximum of 6 weeks (Detroit and Traverse City regions).
The positive rate in the seven regions excluding the Upper Peninsula is over 13.9%. The Saginaw region leads with 18.2%, followed by the Traverse City region (17%), Detroit region (16.4%), Lansing region (15.9%) and Jackson region (15.8%).
Last week, 42 of the 83 counties in Michigan reported a positive test rate of over 10%. There are 63 such counties this week.
State testing strategies have changed over time.
Due to limited test supplies and infrastructure in the early days of the pandemic, the state set a goal of reaching 30,000 and then 50,000 tests per day as a means of increasing capacity.
Recently, Bagdasarian said the approach has evolved to be more focused on “testing in a targeted way.” This includes ensuring that the collective environment, such as nursing homes and correctional facilities, and nearby sites in vulnerable areas are well tested.
The state has set up “pop-up” test sites in schools and junior high school districts throughout the state to contact students and their families who have returned from their spring break trips before the potential outbreak.
There are 47 test sites for such schools, some of which have already been implemented. Over the weekend, Bagdasarian said there was a “massive turnout” with over 8,000 tests performed.
In addition, the state has set up test sites at the welcome center and airport for Michigan returning from out-of-state trips. These sites include Traverse City and Marquette airports, and the Department of Health wants to expand them further.
Testing can become even more important now that more contagious variants are emerging around the state. 1,817 cases of B.1.1.7 variants across 46 counties have been reported, including 505 cases in prisons and prison systems. There were also 7 B.1.351 variants in 6 counties and 2 P.1 variants in different counties.
According to Bagdasarian, the test guidance is a bit looser for fully vaccinated residents. That is, two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine alone. You do not need to be tested after exposure unless you have symptoms.
If you are unvaccinated, or somewhere in the process two weeks before your last dose, “act as if you were not vaccinated.”
“We know that no vaccine is 100% effective,” said Bagdasarian. “While we can mitigate some of the public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, we still want to ensure that we catch as many cases as possible.”
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