Omicron variant cases rise, causing COVID testing to rise

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Community engagement and health planning manager Debra Johnson said with the high spiking numbers of COVID reported cases like this, they have also seen the highest numbers of people coming to get tested.

”We are seeing a great increase in individuals who have symptoms right now, Johnson said. “That asymptomatic population seems to be less with the variant that’s circulating.”

Johnson said because of the rise, they have had to expand their testing site at the health department, making changes to ensure everyone gets through the testing line, by extending hours and having two lane traffic.

When needed, the Comanche County Fairgrounds allows them to use the annex building, giving them the opportunity to comply with the high demand.

”With the increase in testing, we are seeing an increase in positive results back,” Johnson said. “We also know then that they are telling the individuals they’ve been in contact with and their household members to also go get a test and find out there status.”

The department sends the tests to a public health lab, where they are able to see the variant that is causing such an up rise across the nation.

”The lab where our samples are sent, are being sequenced for variants. We’re seeing that increase that’s been reported. The Omicron variant is increased in our area, as well as our state, and the nation.”

Johnson said people are using COVID at home testing, which is great for the initial test, but they do not contribute to the records for the state and the sequencing for figuring variants.

So she asks that if you test positive, that you come get a confirmatory test.

”We definitely want to continue to respond to the demand and the need for testing,” Johnson said. “We know our other sites are also working to provide that to the community If needed, we just plan as we go.”

If you are experiencing symptoms or come in contact with this virus, you can click the link where they update the testing sites schedule daily.

State Health Department

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