How often should you get tested for COVID-19?

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 11:05 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Summer is winding down and COVID-19 numbers are on the rise. With schools back in session, college football watch parties on the weekends and flu season in full swing health experts say, even if you’re vaccinated, be vigilant about spreading disease.

But how often should you get tested for COVID-19?

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said, “People should be thinking about testing the same way they did last fall, when we had cases in October and November.”

Vail explained that, especially with vaccinated people, the symptoms could be very mild. This means someone might think they’ve come down with something like the sniffles. She says, even if that is the case, it’s a good idea just to be sure.

Vail advised her own vaccinated daughter, who is a school teacher, to get tested after having a slight cough and runny nose.

“I said, ‘You know, it would be irresponsible of you to show up to school tomorrow with those symptoms without getting a test and making sure that you’re not going into a classroom full of people and potentially exposing.’”

In the case of a potential exposure, Sarah Surna from the Barry-Eaton Health Department suggests getting tested within three to five days to nip the spread of the virus in the bud.

“What this can do is detect COVID-19 perhaps before somebody is symptomatic,” Surna said. “This way we can identify cases of COVID-19 early and prevent any further spread.”

With school starting up, Surna also suggests keeping a watchful eye on little ones who can’t be vaccinated.

“It’s important to keep an eye on new or worsening cough, fever, perhaps any congestion, unusual fatigue,” she said. “Even if they’re mild, it is probably worth going ahead and getting a COVID-19 test.”

Linda Vail also says it’s important to keep getting tested, and to keep testing locations operating.

To find a testing location near you, click one of the links below.

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