MIAMI – As COVID-19 testing lines in South Florida stretch for hours, the state’s surgeon general said this Tuesday:
“If you have no symptoms, please don’t get tested.”
New guidance coming from Dr. Joseph Ladapo and the state health department will recommend only people with active COVID symptoms and/or medical risk factors get tested, which would eliminate countless people who are lined up just in case, for possible exposure, or in advance of a visit with vulnerable family members.
“It’s about deprogramming or denormalizing this idea that you can’t go anywhere unless you get tested,” Ladapo said at a news conference.
“If you don’t have symptoms, you’re not a case”#Florida Surgeon General says he’ll be revising Covid testing criteria & guidance. From a news conference today, sounds like tests will be recommended for those only with active symptoms and/or health risk factors ⏩@WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/yt4Qq54U2e— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) January 4, 2022
In Miami-Dade County, mass testing exceeds well over 70,000 at more than 30 sites, with more to open.
“People are using the data to guide their decisions,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
Though data from both rapid and PCR results is not complete — and can’t be complete — as crowds of people choose testing by any number of places or methods, including at home.
“I do not know what percentage of tests are being done by the county versus by other sources,” the mayor said. “That is not data that we have access to.”
Miami’s latest testing site opened at Miami Marine Stadium provides yet another option.
Test results may help drive people’s behavior, but they are questionable as a precise public health tool.
“I know for a fact that there were multiple people that have gotten omicron beyond what’s being tested and reported,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. “And it could be a significant multiple.”
For information on where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine or test in South Florida, click here.