COVID-19 testing demand remains high

Busy clinics post-Thanksgiving

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Retail stores aren’t the only busy parking lots on this day after Thanksgiving. Some clinics saw an increase in COVID-19 testing demand.

Doctors tell us busy clinics Friday are a symptom of the increased community spread we’ve seen statewide this month... not so much Thanksgiving. But they’re holding their breath for what may be to come.

“Really showing a lot of community transmission right now,” explained John Gaudet, MD, FAAP, Mississippi Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. “And the perfect storm for transmission is intermingling and mixing of households and age groups which perfectly describes what happens at the holidays. I’m very concerned that we’re going to have over the next few weeks, an increased number of cases.”

While the folks getting tested Friday wouldn’t have been the ones to catch the virus at Thanksgiving, they could’ve spread it.

“If someone has symptoms today and proves to have COVID-19 and yesterday they were at grandma’s or grandpa’s or somebody’s gathering, then they were contagious yesterday,” described Dr. Mark Horne, Mississippi State Medical Association President. “So, wherever they were yesterday, if they are symptomatic today and test positive then yesterday they were positive.”

For clinics like TrustCare, they anticipated the increased demand for tests after having been closed for the holiday. But they’ve been seeing that increase for the last month.

“We have made some increases in staffing and try to make sure that we’ve got enough people but regardless it’s very exhausting on our clinical staff to have to work at the level that they are right now,” said TrustCare Health President/CEO Warren Herring.

TrustCare opened a COVID-only testing site and now they’re looking to expand that model as they anticipate the demand increasing even more in the coming weeks.

“We can get them in and out a lot quicker with going to that clinic and we’re looking at potentially adding some more temporary spots like that just to try to help out and basically reduce the pressure on our urgent care clinics,” added Herring.

Herring says the majority of those seeking a test are wanting a rapid test.

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