ADPH: Recovered from COVID? Here’s why you shouldn’t get retested

Updated: Aug. 18, 2020 at 8:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - According to the CDC, COVID-19 can remain in a recovered person for up to three months and trigger a positive test.

That’s why state health officer Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said that for the vast majority of folks who contract the virus and recover, it’s important to not get retested within those 90 days.

“What it does is take testing resources away from other persons who need tests. We’re really striving for the shortest turnaround time possible,” Lander’s explained.

WBRC also asked about numbers. If a positive person, recovers, and then get tested again, are they counted as a new positive test? Lander’s said ‘no’.

“We actually don’t recount you. Our system picks up for a unique individual so we don’t recount a repeat test,” she said.

The state has been pushing to test as many people as possible to meet a monthly goal.

Landers said the goal is to test 2% of the population each month.

According to the state health department COVID dashboard, more than 860,000 people have been tested statewide since the pandemic began.

“We certainly have seen our testing numbers continue to meet our goal in the state of Alabama, which is 2% of the population per month. Now, I’ve had people ask me, ‘you’ve had slightly fewer test in the past couple of weeks,’ but, if you have slightly fewer tests and fewer positives, that’s still going to give you an accurate picture related to the percent of positivity,” Landers explained.

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