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Doctors stress importance of getting COVID test - yes, even after vaccination

"We need to go through the trouble to get tested so that we can protect other people."

DESOTO COUNTY, Mississippi — Amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the Mid-South, health officials are urging residents to get tested and vaccinated for the coronavirus.   

“People who’ve been exposed, even if vaccinated, it probably makes sense to get tested four or five days after that exposure to see,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld, an infectious disease specialist.   

The message from doctors is clear, get a test and shot in your arm to lessen your chances of getting COVID-19. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Steve Threlkeld warned the coronavirus is so contagious that even if you’re vaccinated, you could come down with some infection.   

Not every health department in Mississippi is offering COVID tests. Currently, the DeSoto County Health Department does not offer testing. Residents are encouraged to visit a nearby clinic instead.   

However, Tunica and Marshall counties do offer testing.   

“We need to go through the trouble to get tested so that we can protect other people, because a lot of those cases - if you’ve been vaccinated - a little case of the sniffles or sinus congestion, that could be your COVID,” Threlkeld said.   

On Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported just over 2,800 more COVID cases in Mississippi, and seven new deaths with over 7,500 deaths total since the beginning of the pandemic.   

“How many people need to be vaccinated? It’s a lot more than it used to be because the more contagious something is, the higher you need to have in the way of a vaccination percentage to reach that sort of now seemingly mythical herd immunity.”  

With the contagious delta variant spreading, Threlkeld is urging the public to get vaccinated.  

“People who haven’t had the experience of not being able to breathe for a few days, it really changes your impression on getting a vaccine and getting therapy,” said Threlkeld.   

Right now, all Baptist Medical Group doctors and minor meds offer COVID testing. Testing does not require insurance, but you’re asked to be prepared to show your insurance card if you have one.