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Health News Florida
The State We're In connects with people in Central Florida and the greater Tampa Bay region about issues that matter to you. From the coronavirus to special coverage of politics along the I-4 corridor, it’s a chance to hear your neighbors, and better understand their experience.The State We’re In is a collaboration of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and 90.7 WMFE in Orlando and is part of America Amplified, a national community engagement and reporting initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.[Join Us On Facebook]

Coronavirus Testing Has Its Pros and Cons, UF Epidemiologist Says

Cars lined up at drive-thru testing site at Tropicana Field.
St. Petersburg Police Department
Cars lined up at drive-thru testing site at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. While testing has ramped up, there are still delays for receiving results.

More people are being tested for coronavirus in Florida as cases spike across the state. This is causing a logjam, not only in getting tested, but also in receiving results.

Dr. Cindy Prins is an epidemiologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

She says rapid tests recently deployed by the state can produce quicker results and identify positive cases right away. But they are not as accurate as standard tests, and that's something to consider for anyone who wishes to be tested.

“What we’re seeing right now is just an overload of the system and then we’re not being able to get those results back as quickly. So there may be some value again in rapid testing there, but a lot of caveats associated with that kind of testing,” Prins said.

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage From WUSF And Health News Florida

Prins was a guest Tuesday on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

In addition to testing, health experts point to contact tracing as one of the most effective ways to stem the steep rise of coronavirus cases in Florida.

She said the pressure on contact tracers is increasing sharply as they try to reach more people who may have been exposed to the virus.

People may feel inconvenienced by the phone calls from tracers, she said. But it is a necessary step in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of the disease.

“Really, all they’re trying to do is try to prevent more cases of COVID-19,” Prins said. “So I really would ask them sincerely to please talk to these contact tracers and let them do their job to help protect other people.”

To see more about coronavirus testing, visit The State We're In Facebook page.