Why are more Covid tests needed? Isn't the pandemic over?

We all would like more time without having to wear masks. (Except in the winter, because they keep your face warm!). Mask mandates have been lifted. Most of us are already not wearing them just about everywhere, except at doctors' offices.

The only problem is that Covid numbers are on the rise again and many people are still not vaccinated. Although here in South Dakota, vaccination numbers are good, revealing that 62% of our state's population is fully vaccinated.

And while the diagnosed Covid cases here in Sioux Falls, and South Dakota, have been low, other parts of the country have not been so lucky.

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New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, have all seen a major climb in the number of cases. Warm states are having the same issues, with California and Florida both averaging over 8,000 new cases every day.

Well, when will the pandemic be over?

The simple answer is - - when the World Health Organization says so. The more complicated answer is that right now the pandemic is considered to be transitioning to what is referred to as "an endemic" phase.

Endemic diseases include colds, the flu, in some countries malaria, or chickenpox. They're always present in the population, but not at worldwide proportions, as Covid has been.

Are Covid tests still needed?

...officials should continue to take steps to protect against another surge, or the next pandemic. Those steps include ensuring that sufficient testing capacity remains in place...

--Wendy Parmet/Co-Director of Northeastern University Center for Health Policy and Law


How many tests can you get for your household and are they free?

You now can order an additional 8 Covid tests per household. They will be mailed in two separate orders. And yes, they are free.

There is a whole lot more information on the South Dakota State Department of Health webpage.

Sources: South Dakota State Department of HealthUSA Facts, New York Times, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and News at Northeastern University

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