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Despite Increased Capacity, Number Of COVID-19 Tests Declines

The coronavirus testing capacity problems Arizona was facing earlier this year are mostly fixed, and now, just about anybody who wants a test can actually get one. 

Arizona’s former Public Health Director Will Humble says the problem is that the only people who are still getting tests are people who are showing symptoms or who have been exposed to the virus. That doesn’t provide public health officials with an accurate representation of the disease’s community spread.

"There’s fewer people that actually have symptoms of COVID-19, and that’s suppressing demand, there are fewer people that know somebody actively sick with COVID-19, because there’s less community spread, so that is suppressing demand," Humble said. "And just people hearing on the news that things are getting better makes people less worried."

Humble says demand for testing could increase as schools, colleges and universities resume in-person classes, and that people in those environments should get tested regularly, regardless of their symptoms.

→  Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.