COLUMBIA – Columbia and Boone County Public Health and Senior Services officials said they have seen a decrease in demand for COVID-19 testing in the last month.
The department said they worry this downtick in testing could cause incomplete data and numbers.
From the week of Aug. 31, MU Health Care reported 3,177 tests were completed. Last week, that number dipped to 1,816.
Scott Clardy, Assistant Director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Senior Services, said he doesn’t know why the demand for testing has dropped.
“We still have cases and we still have contacts to cases that we are recommending they get tested sometime around seven to nine days after their last contact with that person,” Clardy said.
He said he’s heard some of the concern might be people don’t want to get tested because they can’t be home for 10 days. He also said it could be people want to get paid, and if they stay home, they can’t get paid.
“I don’t know that there’s a lot of that occurring, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that wasn’t part of the issue,” he said.
He believes the lack of demand in testing is bad, especially for the department.
“We need to keep testing enough people to be able to know what kind of viral spread is going on in the community,” he said. “So, we’ll keep at it.”
He said the priority for testing will always be people who are showing symptoms or who have been in close contact to a known case.