Testing multiple times for COVID-19 becoming part of the problem for the backlog

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HARLINGEN, Texas – Several health officials in Cameron County are saying that they are finding people are taking multiple COVID-19 tests.

“It’s just the nature of the beast the not knowing.” said Cameron County Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo.  “When you have limited resources we want to make sure that the people that really truly need it the most the ones with symptoms, the ones that have underlying conditions, that they get themselves in to get the testing.”

However, some people are taking too many tests causing problems for the county.

“We want to make sure that every case we report is an individual case. So, when you have individuals that get tested frequently then obviously that’s going to create problems for us,” said Guajardo.

“I have had patients, you know, say that they wanted to get tested to prove that it’s negative either because their employers are still stuck using the old guidance from the CDC,” said Dr. James Castillo, Health Authority. “Because that test has been positive for so long, it does not mean that person is infectious just because it’s positive. That was another reason why lots of people were getting tested way more than one time sometimes, four, five, six, seven times.”

He wants people to be aware of what having a positive test means.

“Just having a positive PTR test which is the most common test available does not mean a person is contagious,” said Dr. Castillo.

Both officials said that they understand why people take an additional test just to make sure it is not a positive but urge that you do not have to.  

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