Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health says more testing efforts are needed to help detect cases in the community.
“So, I think in situations, in some situations, it can be very helpful,” Stubblefield said. “Some of our more rural counties it might be more of an issue just with geography, transportation and roads, and access to clinics and pharmacies that do testing.”
Some experts like Dr. Jeanne Marazzo of UAB says it might be too little, too late when it comes to the oncoming surge of the new variant.
“People have already made the decision to travel. We’re already in the mix, and as I mentioned about tomorrow, probably 80% if not more will be omicron,” Marazzo said.
Dr. Stubblefield says when it comes to at-home tests, it’s important to realize that taking multiple tests will provide the most accurate information.
“So having a test and testing yourself over several days. A pattern of negative testing can be more helpful than one negative test,” Dr. Stubblefield said.
While an increase in testing will help detect and contain cases, experts urge everyone to get vaccinated for the best protection.
“So, that booster dose seems to be very important when it comes to protecting you against this COVID-19 variant. Particularly with hospitalization and death,” Stubblefied said.
Dr. Stubblefield says if someone experiences persistent symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and loss of taste and smell, they should get tested immediately.