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What did fmr. US surgeon general and WISH med. expert say about regular testing for COVID

Health Spotlight: COVID-19 no longer pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID and has mild symptoms, the White House and the first lady’s office announced this week.

The diagnosis came just a few days after her visit with high school students in Westfield.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the WISH-TV medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general, talked Tuesday on News 8 about her diagnosis and COVID testing.

Jill Biden’s diagnosis came amid renewed attention to COVID-19 as the world approached the fourth virus season since the coronavirus arrived on the scene. The positive result also came as Americans are seeing a new surge in COVID cases. Although President Joe Biden is regularly tested for COVID, it was not immediately known Sunday if Jill Biden also has a regular COVID-testing cadence. The president did not test positive for COVID.

“We know that many people out there … don’t have the ability to do surveillance testing, meaning just testing to know whether or not you have it if you don’t have symptoms,” Adams said. “Was she really sick, if that prompted the test, or was this just a routine test that the White House does when the first lady travels?

“It matters in terms of the message it sends to the public about whether or not we should be testing, and it also matters in terms of how sick she actually is.”

Adams notes it’s possible that Jill Biden contracted COVID during her visit Wednesday to the Indianapolis area.

The licensed anesthesiologist also says he’s been commenting about the coronavirus on X, formerly known as Twitter, to give people more information for their own precautions.

“If you’re high-risk, you need to be aware. If you get symptoms, you need to seek out a test because seeking out that test can allow you to get treatments such as Paxlovid. It also means that when that new booster is available, if you haven’t been recently infected, then you need to make sure you talk to your doctor and get your questions answered and get that new booster if your doctor recommends it because you don’t want to be in a situation where you are one of the 15,000 people who last week ended up in the hospital because of COVID.”

Adams added,” I want everyone to have the tools to be able to protect themselves.”

News 8 asked if people should expect COVID numbers to keep growing or has the summer peak been reached.

“So I went to the Indiana State Department of Health website a few minutes before I got online with you, and what’s interesting is they haven’t updated their numbers since August, almost two weeks ago. It’s hard to tell where we are, but I can tell you based on the numbers that are on that website from two weeks ago, we were still experiencing exponential increases.”

Numbers on the state health department’s website are promoted as being updated by 5 p.m. each Wednesday.

“From what I’m seeing in the hospital, in the community, there’s no reason to believe that we’ve hit our peak yet. I expect a few more weeks of continued uptick in cases before we level off and then eventually start to come back down, which means if you haven’t gotten it yet, you’re still at risk. You still want to take sensible precautions, particularly if you’re vulnerable or someone around you is vulnerable.”

This story was created from a live interview aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.