Expert urges testing as overtaxed hospitals face COVID-19 surge

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 3:16pm
Updated: Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 8:26am
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Arizona State University
Dr. Joshua LaBaer

Hospital beds are full, the holidays are approaching and COVID-19 is the state's leading cause of death. One expert says 'tis the season to get tested.

With COVID-19 cases topping 3,000 per day, experts are bracing for a surge that could overwhelm Arizona's overtaxed hospitals.

Joshua LaBaer, executive director of ASU's Biodesign Institute, says the highly infectious, rapidly spreading Omicron variant makes it even more urgent for people to know if they're infected.

"If you're experiencing any symptoms, just go get tested. It's just so easy. You can pick tests up at pharmacies. You can get free testing in a lot of locations," he said. 

LaBaer recommends limiting holiday gatherings to immediate family.

Before joining the festivities, unvaccinated people should get same-day antigen tests to confirm they are not infected. 

"It's important to do those antigen tests the same day that you're going to get together, because the results of those tests don't last long," said LaBaer.

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