Demand for COVID testing on the rise in Michigan

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:35 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - COVID cases are on the rise here in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported more than 22,000 confirmed cases over the past month. Dr. Jon Baker with Sparrow says the health system has also seen a recent rise in demand for COVID testing.

“Usually, this time a year we see an increase in people with respiratory symptoms so that drives up all respiratory testing,” said Baker.

Baker says now that there’s no longer a public health emergency, the amount of testing for the disease in our community has gone down. He says it’s hard to get an accurate measure on how bad covid cases are locally.

“There is a lot of home testing begin done that’s not included in the database.”

The process of getting that covid test looks a little different and could take a little longer.

“Like with any other thing you see a physician they asses your symptoms and they provide you with an order.”

While people are choosing to test for covid at home, those tests alone might not be accurate.

“It’s good enough if you have symptoms. But if you think you might have been exposed and you don’t have any symptoms, I wouldn’t rely on the results of a home test.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to get vaccinated for not just COVID but also the flu and RSV.

All three having similar symptoms and testing will help your doctor determine what illness you have.

“You can call your family physician, you can request a virtual visit, you can visit one of the urgent cares.” Vaccinations providing strong protection as we enter a new season of COVID-19 infections.

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