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Testing appointments in Bay Area decrease since COVID-19 vaccine rollout


CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – As vaccine appointments across the Bay Area increase, testing appointments are going down.

A chart shows the decrease since the end of January.

It shows just some of the Bay Area counties that are seeing fewer COVID-19 testing graphs and charts on county websites showing a decrease in the numbers.

In Sonoma County, officials there say they’ve seen a decrease in testing since the beginning of January.

Contra Costa County officials say they expect to see their testing numbers decline due to the number of healthcare workers and older residents now getting the COVID-19 vaccine and officials in Napa County say they’ve seen a slight decrease in testing perhaps due to the 13 to 19 percent of their population now vaccinated.

“We’d just like to thank our community for continuing to do their part,” Sonoma County Public Information Officer Janet Upton said. 

Wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding large crowds is what will keep COVID cases down, according to UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford. He says with fewer people getting sick, there’s less of a need for testing.

“I think there are two plausible theories and they both may be actually happening. one is fewer testing being done because there are fewer people who are sick and have been exposed because there’s less disease around that’s a good thing the other thing is some of the mega testing sites are being repurposed as mega vaccination sites so there may be somewhat less availability i havent heard about people needing or wanting to get tested and not having testing available though,” Dr. George Rutherford said. 

With more vaccinations, Dr. Rutherford says the importance of contact tracing will rise — so while testing will still be needed, there will be less demand, due to less disease.

San Francisco officials say they are not seeing a decrease in testing at this point due to the vaccine but they suspect they will over time.

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