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Testing For COVID-19 Still Limited In Missouri, Physician Says

The four new Illinois cases of coronavirus are all in Chicago.
Illustration By Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio
The four new Illinois cases of coronavirus are all in Chicago.
The four new Illinois cases of coronavirus are all in Chicago.
Credit Illustration By Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio

There is a lot of anxiety swirling right now over the new coronavirus. There’s also a lot of misinformation. 

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Dr. Alexis Elward joined host Sarah Fenske to help set the record straight and answer listener questions and concerns. Elward is an infectious disease physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Elward says that health care providers are still being careful about who they test for COVID-19, with tests mainly limited to people likely to have had contact with an infected person.

“People are starting to relax the criteria a little bit,” she said, “but we’re still going on the guiding principle of, ‘Where is there community transmission?’ We always think about the pre-test probability when we’re testing people because we still have a limited number of tests to be able to send. The swabs that we use to obtain the tests are something we want to protect and preserve in terms of the supply, so we’re not doing broadspread testing right now.”

Listen to the full conversation:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Emily Woodbury joined the St. Louis on the Air team in July 2019. Prior to that, she worked at Iowa Public Radio as a producer for two daily, statewide talk programs. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She got her start in news radio by working at her college radio station as a news director. Emily enjoys playing roller derby, working with dogs, and playing games – both video and tabletop.