SAN ANGELO, TX – School is back in session and health experts are concerned for the safety of students, faculty members and all residents in Tom Green County. As far as the current testing trends, the daily amount of COVID-19 cases has dropped compared to the previous months. The smaller amount of pending results play a huge role in the daily count decrease.
“The labs that we’re sending off leads from Shannon,” Local Health Authority Doctor James Vretis said. “They are getting turnaround times 24 to 48 hours now we’re they had been, as far as seven to 10 days out. So since we’re getting them quicker, we don’t have so many in that stack waiting for results to come back.”
In the coming months, local health experts are predicting another surge in COVID-19 cases due to in-person classes being a factor although it’s limited. Doctor Vretis questions whether how big or how fast the virus will spread in the fall. There’s also more concern in getting the community to comply with wearing a mask at all times in order to prevent another major outbreak.
“We now know that any children over 10 years old can spread the disease just as bad as adults and there’s some new reports coming out saying that even elementary kids can spread the disease just as well,” Doctor Vretis said. “They don’t seem to get a lot of symptoms from it, but they make great little spreaders.”
A quick reminder for those confused with the difference between the PCR and antigen tests. According to Doctor Vretis, PCR tests look for the messenger RNA from the virus that is located in your nasopharynx. The antigen tests aim at another direction.
“The positive and negative tests of PCR are considered valid,” Dr. Vretis said. “The antigen test looks for a certain part of the spike protein. You always see that picture of the coronavirus called a little spike sticking off it. The antigen tests look for a specific part of one of those spikes.”
For more information, visit the City of San Angelo website. https://www.cosatx.us/departments-services/health-services/coronavirus-covid-19
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