Are too many people getting tested for COVID? Gov. DeSantis has message for Floridians

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said Tuesday they don’t want Floridians who aren’t showing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested unless you really need it.

He made his message known during a stop in Naples on Tuesday.

“You will have people who run and get tested a couple of times a week who are not sick. And, I think that makes it more difficult for people who are symptomatic,” DeSantis told reporters.

That message comes as some testing sites raise concerns that they may run out of supplies.

Gov. DeSantis has made it clear he wants people to get tested, but only if they truly need it, including those who are immunocompromised or high-risk. Otherwise, he says, it’s a waste of resources describing the situation as “not optimal.”

People were lined up Tuesday morning before testing sites even opened in Tampa.

There’s no doubt the demand is high and state leaders are worried that testing supplies may run low.

“When you have people who are healthy and they say, well, I saw it on the news and I have to run and get tested to see if I’m sick. That ends up creating more stress on our testing capacity,” DeSantis said.

Some patients at the new Al Barnes Park testing site in Tampa waited in line for more than four hours Tuesday. Both state and health officials are concerned that some people are possibly getting tested multiple times, just for peace of mind, when they’re actually asymptomatic.

“Because there’s been such a rush on testing nationwide, what you find is the vast majority of people being tested do not have symptoms,” the governor remarked.

At Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, not only has testing been at a higher level, but also the number of patients being hospitalized has increased due to the Omicron variant.

“We’re also seeing a lot more patients get admitted to the hospital that need more critical care as well,” Dr. Allison Messina told 8 On Your Side.

The governor had this advice for Floridians as this latest variant continues to spread.

“Live your life like you would have before COVID. We weren’t out testing, do I have the flu or do I have that. This is a new thing that’s been put in, so that’s not the posture how you should live your life, getting negative tests all the time,” DeSantis said.

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