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Apr 21, 2020

M.O.H. to Review Testing Strategy – May Cast a Wider Net!

Marvin Manzanero

It’s been nine days since the last COVID-19 positive patient was identified and moving forward with testing, the DHS says that they will be reviewing their testing strategy because they are seeing fewer reported cases of respiratory illnesses and they have tested those patients who were hospitalized.  He notes that they are doing fewer tests in recent days because they are not seeing as many persons with respiratory illnesses.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We are going to go back and review where we are going to be testing because we have tested all those patients who are hospitalized and that have influenza like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illnesses. So, we are considering that we may open it up more to having people who have some other condition and maybe Thursday-Friday do what we would call a sweep of secondary or even tertiary contacts that are symptomatic of the initial cases. The last four cases we reported were last week Monday but they had been swabbed on the Saturday and Sunday before we actually announced the results. For an outbreak to be officially declared over you would need to be twenty-eight days without a single case.  One of the reasons why you have less people being swabbed is because you have less people being swabbed is because people are having less and less flu like symptoms or at least they are not showing up in health facility. We have also said that our traditional flu season go from October to March. We are in the month of April, so it is following the pattern that we would have expected in epic curves then. So, the numbers are significantly low. As a matter of fact, yesterday we went for a period of four to six hours where nobody called the 0800 number.”


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