Trump Says Scale Back on COVID Tests, Local Health Officials Say More Testing is Crucial

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Mesa County Public Health Director Jeff Kuhr says he expects to see a steady increase in COVID-19 cases as testing continues to be scaled up.

Kuhr says despite this increased case count, having an accurate local count on COVID-19 cases is key to slowing the spread.

“More cases we’re seeing is because of testing,” Kuhr said. “But over half of those tests are a result of us doing the contact tracing with other positive individuals.”

At rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the weekend, President Trump opposed more COVID testing.

“You know testing is a double edged sword,” the president told the crowd. “We’ve tested now 25 million people. When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down please.”

The Trump campaign came out after the rally and said the president was just joking. But Kuhr says more testing is crucial in tracking COVID-19 locally.

“More testing is better,” Kuhr said. “There really are no more barriers any longer, you know at first it was supplies.”

Kuhr says he wants to test as many people as possible in Mesa County, because the more people who aren’t tested could cause a quiet surge of the virus.

“They infect others potentially, and we can’t keep track of those folks,” Kuhr said “So if you come and get tested that’s where a case investigation and contact tracing really plays the roll to contain the spread.”

You can call and get tested by Mesa County Public Health if you don’t have a primary healthcare provider by calling 970-683-2300.

As of June 22, Mesa County Public Health reports 85 positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began and 54 recoveries.

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