COVID-19 cases decline; at-home test usage increases

Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 2:48 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The number of new COVID-19 cases in Chatham County is declining from the spike experienced after the holiday season.

However, there’s an added element to the way that people receive COVID tests.

While seeing cases decline is a good sign, health experts say the rise in the usage of at-home COVID tests could be playing a role in that.

Dr. Stephen Thacker, with Memorial Health, says there’s always a level of underreporting with any reportable disease, like COVID-19. Thacker says with the increase in people using at-home tests, there’s not a clear path for that data to be reported to the state.

“So, there is some underreporting there. But I think the trends still hold true. The fact that we see a decline in what’s reported is reflecting a decline in the amount of disease in our community,” Dr. Thacker said.

Dr. Thacker says this downward trend in COVID cases is hopeful as we head into the St. Patrick’s Day holiday in Savannah.

But he does still recommend people follow CDC guidelines to wear masks in enclosed spaces where you don’t know everyone’s vaccination status.

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