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Davis, California

Friday, July 30, 2021

Healthy Davis Together testing falls as vaccination rises

Despite increased vaccination rates, officials encourage people to keep getting tested

Although the COVID-19 vaccination rate has been increasing in Yolo County, asymptomatic testing through Healthy Davis together has been decreasing. On May 12, 1,811 tests were administered, while only 164 tests were done on May 16—the lowest number of tests done in one day since December. 

Yolo County On-Call Public Information Officer Frank Schneegas stated that testing has not just been declining in Davis.

    “That’s a trend in most places,” Schneegas said. “Generally, once people have been getting vaccinated, they haven’t been getting tested and it’s not really a requirement anymore for a lot of things.”

    As of May 18, 52% of all Yolo County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to Schneegas.  

    Schneegas added that the ease and convenience of testing options available means there’s no disadvantage to getting tested, whether or not someone has been exposed to COVID-19.

    “It never hurts to get tested, so if you have an exposure, it’s not a bad idea to get tested,” Scheengas said. “I mean especially if you live in Davis, it’s really easy to get tested at Healthy Davis Together. We also offer tests which you can find on [Yolo County’s] website. The state offers tests and so it’s not a requirement per se, but it doesn’t hurt to get tested.”

    The decrease in testing demand has resulted in changes in terms of the various testing options available in Yolo County, Schneegas explained. 

    “We aren’t really pushing testing as much anymore,” Schneegas said. “People haven’t been getting tested, and because of it we’ve had to stop offering our own Yolo County testing as well as the State’s OptumServe or Orale, which is kind of a partnership between different organizations as well as Healthy Davis Together.”

Although testing through Healthy Davis Together has been declining, UC Davis Student Health and Counselling Services Medical Director Dr. Cindy Schorzman said that on-campus testing efforts have been going well. She explained that testing has ramped up since the Daily Symptom Survey, which is required to enter campus buildings or facilities, was revised to check when people were last tested.

    “On-campus testing efforts are continuing to go well, and we have seen an increase in testing numbers since revision of the Daily Symptom Survey to include an automatic calculation of the individual’s last test (or same-day test appointment),” Dr. Schorzman said via email.

    In addition to offering widespread testing to the Davis community, UC Davis is also administering vaccines. UC Davis Health Spokesperson Marianne Russ Sharp explained that UC Davis Health gives a few hundred people each day.

    “UC Davis Health is vaccinating several hundred people per day and our supply remains stable,” Sharp said via email.

    Schneegas added that Yolo County has now also started vaccinating those aged between 12 to 15.

    “Yolo County is vaccinating 12 to 15 [year olds],” Scheengas said. “We just had to wait for CDPH to say we could, but we did start doing that last week.”

    As the university prepares to begin reopening, Schorzman encouraged people to get vaccinated if they can.

    “As we prepare for increased in-person instruction, and as public health recommendations and restrictions are eased throughout the country and state, the only way we will succeed is for as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” Schorzman said. “Please consider getting vaccinated, if you are able, to help support our campus community as we move forward together.”

Written by: Shraddha Jhingan — city@theaggie.org

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