Local Health Organizations Expect More Vaccinations and Testing in Future | New
The Delta variant is causing an increase in COVID-19 cases in children and the unvaccinated across the country. President Joe Biden unveiled a new pandemic response plan, forcing employers of more than 100 workers to demand weekly vaccinations or tests to slow the spread of the disease.
âVaccination is probably the easiest thing we’ve talked about, there’s a lot of supply, whether it’s your local health department, your local doctor’s office, pharmacies,â said Steve Hall, of the central district of Michigan. Department of Health.
Hall said the department sees an increase in immunization and testing on the horizon.
âIn terms of testing supplies, it can be a bit more difficult,â Hall said.
For many local health departments, this is either an immunization clinic or a mass testing site, not both, due to staff and supply shortages. This is where the state can help.
“I think we’ll absolutely see an increase. We’ve already seen an increase before term of office,” said Jason Wilkinson, director of covid testing for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Wilkinson said many companies are asking where their employees can be tested.
âWe’ve actually increased the number of contextual test sites,â Wilkinson said.
Testing across the state has risen to a daily average of 35,000 people, up from 13,000 in July.
“A lot of health departments are, they’ve focused on offering these immunization events. And so in these cases we say there is a way to help, we can increase these events by offering testing, âWilkinson said.
For now, local health departments are waiting for more guidance from OSHA, such as with home testing.
âI guess that’s the first question. Would home testing be allowed under this rule or whatever OSHA is going to say,â Wilkinson said.
The mandate will come into effect in about two and a half months.