Why COVID-19 testing still needs to be done, along with vaccinations

Friday, July 23, 2021
You can now take a COVID-19 test at home
Unlike the early days of the pandemic, there are now plenty of testing options for COVID-19, including at-home tests.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As long as coronavirus is circulating, we need to continue testing for it. Although we don't talk about it as much anymore, testing is still vital.

The only way to stop the spread of the virus and end the pandemic is with the vaccine as well as precautions, which includes making sure anyone positive stays away from other people.

"Even though we have made great strides with coronavirus, the Delta variant has reared its ugly head," said Dr. Delana Wardlaw with Temple Physicians.

Dr. Wardlaw said especially as we are starting to see more cases of COVID-19, we have to keep our guard up.

Anyone unvaccinated with potential exposure or symptoms should get tested.

If you are vaccinated but come down with symptoms, you should also be tested in case you have breakthrough infection. Those infections are typically milder and not as great of a risk for spread, however, that does not mean you can let your guard down.

"If you want to know if you are, if you do have that positive test because you still have to go through that quarantine protocol so that you don't go out and expose anyone to the virus," said Dr. Wardlaw.

Unlike the early days of the pandemic, there are now plenty of testing options with the PSR nasal swab test done at a testing site or doctor's office, which is still the gold standard.

There are also about a dozen FDA-authorized at-home, antigen tests available at pharmacies. For about $25, you can swab yourself and get results in 15 minutes.

Dr. Wardlaw said the at-home tests are more accurate if you have symptoms, but could also miss cases. If you have concerns, call your healthcare provider.

This is important so you do not unknowingly expose someone else to the virus if you are infected, that includes children younger than 12 who can't get the vaccine yet and people with compromised immunity.

Everyone has to do their part to protect people who are more vulnerable.