'Low threshold for testing': Doctors encourage COVID-19 tests despite high vaccination rates

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available, testing sites are seeing less people.

However, doctors want to make sure everyone understands the importance of still getting tested for the virus.

“People should have a low threshold for testing,” said Dr. Nasia Safdar, Medical Director for Infection Prevention at UW Health. “The vaccines are great as they are, they’re not 100 percent. There will be a certain number of people that will still get symptoms of COVID and will contract the illness despite having been vaccinated. It might be a milder condition which is very welcome news, but nonetheless, to make a diagnosis and figure out what treatment is required, you have to get a test.”

Safdar explained although vaccines are helping drive down the number of cases in the state, COVID-19 testing is still crucial to controlling the pandemic. She added it is important for people with symptoms or those who were exposed to the virus to get tested, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

“We are seeing a decline in testing,” she said. “If we see the numbers continue to decline sharply, at some point then it may not be worthwhile to do widespread testing, but we’re certainly not there yet.”

Safdar said even if someone has been fully vaccinated and they have COVID-19 symptoms, they should get tested. The vaccine has no impact on test results.

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