More coronavirus testing means number of Miss. cases will rise. Doctor says don’t be alarmed.

Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 10:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Health Department is working to open some drive-thru testing facilities across the state in areas with enhanced risk.

Those are not yet up and running, but others managed by different medical groups and hospitals are.

More testing sites means you’ll likely see the statewide COVID-19 case count rise. UMMC Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Jonathan Wilson says not to be alarmed by that.

“The same number of people have COVID-19 as they did before we started testing," said Wilson. "It’s just now we have visibility on what those numbers actually are. We can manage those numbers to know what’s working well, where do we need to focus our efforts.”

MEA Medical Clinic’s Dr. Bill Grantham makes a similar note.

“The numbers we are seeing today represent what the infection rate was several days ago," added Grantham. "It is still taking a number of days to even get the results back. That’s just the way the testing works.”

The UMMC mobile testing site includes a telehealth screening process before patients are directed to the site for testing.

UMMC run-through of what you should expect to see if you were sent to the fairgrounds location for testing and what you’ll see those employees wearing.

“We are following CDC guidelines," added Wilson. "So, you will see them in a gown and a mask and a face shield and gloves. So that’s the personal protective equipment that’s recommended by the CDC.”

The other sites set up around the state are not using that C Spire app but they are following the same guidelines that they want you to call in before showing up.

“We’ll determine if you need an office visit or if you need a virtual visit or if we need to refer you to a specific site for COVID testing,” said Dr. Rebekah Moulder with St. Dominic’s Medical Associates.

Another common thread for all testing sites is that they are testing only those showing symptoms.

“There’s no real benefit in testing asymptomatic people at this time. If you have symptoms and you test negative today, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to test positive tomorrow. It can be a false sense of security.”

If you want to find a testing site near you, click HERE. You’re asked to first call if you have symptoms.

For MEA Medical Clinics, call 601-898-7540. For St. Dominic’s Medical Associates, all 601-200-5000.

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