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Avera Medical Minute: Importance of getting tested and vaccinated as COVID cases rise

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:11 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Dr. Kevin Post, Chief Medical Officer for Avera Medical Group joined Dakota News Now for a Q&A about COVID-19.

Q: Is the omicron variant now the dominant variant of COVID?

A: What we have seen in the last few weeks is Omicron is now by far the dominant strain. Almost 95% (of new cases) is what the State of South Dakota is saying.

Q: When should people get tested?

A: Testing timing is important. As soon as you have symptoms or believe you are coming down with signs of illness, it’s important you get tested early. The sooner you know you have coronavirus the sooner you may qualify for treatments such as the antibodies that help prevent severe illness.

Q: Tell us about the different tests available. That being the PCR test versus the at-home test.

A: You know, before there was a focus on getting a PCR test, making sure you knew a yes or a no, and while that’s still important because PCR tests are 97% or more accurate... the at-home testing has become more accurate now because of the prevalence of omicron in the community.

Q: There is so much spread of the virus that some people don’t believe there is any point in getting vaccinated anymore. Why are vaccinations still important?

A: The vaccine and the booster remain important, almost more important now, just because of the volume of cases we’re seeing. Those that are vaccinated with a booster have the lowest chance of hospitalization, illness, and death.

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