COVID-19 mega-site at Atlanta airport closes as demand for testing drops

COVID-19 mega testing site at airport closes as demand for tests decreases

ATLANTA — The COVID-19 mega-testing site at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport closed Friday.

Starting in mid-August, the site performed more than 1,000 tests a day -- but demand for testing across the state has dropped.

Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge was at the airport, where only 484 people showed up for a test on Thursday.

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Sbarge looked into why demand has gone down.  Family medicine Dr. Barbara Joy said she thinks there are several reasons.

“I think the reason less people are going to get tested is because, in the beginning, we has a hundred percent of people who did not know about coronavirus because it was a novel virus,” Joy said. “Now, a certain part of the population has had coronavirus, so there’s a less percentage that would actually need to be tested.”

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Nationally, numbers from what’s known as the COVID tracking project reports this week, daily tests are around 590,000 compared to 900,000 last week.

Jones believes that at first, people wee getting tested even if they weren’t around anyone with it or showing any symptoms. She believes people understand more about the transmission and their own risk.

“Also, because there were not many testing sites available, everyone was in a frenzy to get the tests that were available,” Jones said. “Now, we’re seeing pop-up testing facilities all over the place.”

Health experts say testing is still key if you think you’ve been exposed and to control the spread through contact tracing.

Jones said she is seeing a lot of her patients wanting antibody tests.

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