Mississippi testing supplies and capabilities increasing but demand decreasing

Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 6:54 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State leaders are standing by the idea that it’s not wise to follow a model of everyone who wants a test, gets a test. But they are loosening some restrictions.

“Fewer people were having to come in with symptoms," said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "We are going to lower the criteria for people to get tested. So if you have any symptoms of COVID, don’t necessarily have to have documented fever or if you think you might have been exposed please register for the drive-through clinics.”

Here’s what they’ve discovered and say other states are noticing a similar scenario.

“One of the things that we are seeing now is that while supply of testing capability continues to increase, the demand for tests seems to be declining," explained Governor Tate Reeves.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs says it could be a sign of good news but they don’t want to be premature in those assumptions.

“Because we have more capacity, we want to open it up a little bit and look at targets," noted Dobbs. “Not just random targets but high profile areas, areas where we have transmission, people who have symptoms even if they’re not severe because we know it can be mild.”

But Dobbs notes the majority of the testing has been done in the private clinics where they haven’t had specific criteria they’d been asked to follow.

“Individual physicians and nurse practitioners can make their own decisions and so a lot of those have been done under this broader sort of perspective in the community health centers to which I think you’ve done a fantastic job,” noted Dobbs.

The other change is the shift that comes along with the Safer at Home order.

“The movement is from government shelter in place mandated for a few weeks to individuals taking responsibility for themselves and their neighbors and making sure that you were doing the right things," said Reeves.

The State Health Officer cautioning folks that they need to be wearing masks and not sending the whole family out for grocery runs.

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