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Health expert suggests frequent testing for Delta variant

Testing for Delta variant
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 13:50:32-04

Positive COVID tests and hospitalizations are on the rise in Green Country. Health experts say the Delta variant is a big reason why.

“This Delta variant just has a much higher load of virus that’s in your nose and in your respiratory system," Doctor Jennifer Rudd, respiratory infectious diseases specialist, said, "Which is why we’re seeing it spread so rapidly around us in our communities, right now.”

Rudd said the Delta variant is not only more transmissible than the other COVID strains, but it's also harder to detect.

She said the primary symptoms are a runny nose, headache, and sore throat - similar symptoms that come with seasonal allergies and the common cold.

“Early on it may just look like a cold, so we’ve got to detect that early so we can keep ourselves from spreading it to others," Rudd said.

But finding a COVID test is not as easy as it once was.

According to the John Hopkins Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, the 7-day rolling average for tests was around 5,000 in May. In June and July, it has mostly been below 2,000 weekly tests.

"While it may have been abundant, it now may have scaled back and now we’re needing that again,” state epidemiologist Jolianne Stone said.

Stone said the Oklahoma Department of Health and county health departments are working to make COVID tests more accessible for those trying to make an appointment.

Though tests may be more difficult to come by, Rudd said they are still out there. She suggests calling a primary care physician or booking an appointment at a drive-thru pharmacy.

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