COVID-19 testing on the decline as vaccination rate rises

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — As the vaccination rate rises, data shows testing is on the decline, and it’s something public health officials are noticing.

The state publishes the number of Florida residents tested per day.

Looking at the first full week in January, more than 1 million people were tested in those seven days.

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As for the first full week of February, that million mark was missed. About 886,000 people were tested, resulting in a 19% decline.

Those numbers include everywhere testing was available including drive-thru sites, doctors offices, pharmacies and community parks.

The drop in testing demand is even more dramatic, specifically, at state-run sites.

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“I‘ve seen a 50% decline in testing at our sites just by the numbers,” said Jared Moskowitz with the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Some of that obviously has to do with the vaccine. Some of that just has to do with, we’ve seen the virus go in waves, and maybe we’re in a down wave at the moment.”

There is some skepticism, though. When the number of tests done and cases reported dip at the same time, public health officials look into if the decrease in cases is simply tied to the fact that fewer tests are being done.

“If we take all the factors that we talk about in context, we’re optimistic that there is a true decline in the number of cases,” said Alvina Chu with the Orange County Health Department.

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The decline, Chu said, could be due to the holidays and large gatherings being over.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.