DeSantis to Release Testing Guidance Tied to Risk Levels
(Bloomberg) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration plans to release new guidance on coronavirus testing that will be tied to risk factors, as state officials criticized efforts to mandate screening broadly.
The Republican governor and the state’s surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, criticized what they see as over-testing, like for those seeking to engage in social events or for children to return to in-person education.
“The idea that if you have a lot of testing to stop the spread, that is not just happening,” DeSantis, who faces re-election this year, said in a press conference Tuesday.
Florida currently has one of the worst outbreaks in the nation, but the omicron variant has produced far fewer intensive-care unit trips and deaths than previous waves. As in other parts of the country, the highly infectious strain has led to lines hundreds of cars long to get tested as Floridians return to work and school.
Testing is key to controlling outbreaks, as it allows infected people to isolate themselves and people who have been exposed to those who test positive to quarantine or seek screening themselves. At the same time, huge demand for testing in the U.S. has strained supplies of rapid tests, leading to shortages.
As examples of people who likely wouldn’t need testing, Ladapo cited young people and those that are asymptomatic.
“We’re not telling people you can’t get tested, we’re not restricting access,” he said. “We don’t think it’s sensible, that people that are unlikely to benefit, unlikely to have any change in their clinical outcome, to be on line waiting to get tested.
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