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Community testing site closing early after demand drops

covid testing
Posted at 4:14 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 16:14:41-05

CLEVELAND — It looks like the worst may be behind us when it comes to the Omicron surge here in Northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic says it’s closing its community testing site in the Walker building garage early, with the final day of testing happening Sunday, January 23. It moved up the date because the demand for testing simply isn’t there anymore.

“It’s very optimistic,” said the Clinic’s Medical Director for Medical Operations Dr. James Simon. “The speed with which the caseload is dropping in Cleveland is pretty dramatic.”

Simon says the Cleveland area was the first in the state to see the Omicron surge, and now the wave is moving south into Columbus and Cincinnati, and west into the Toledo area.

Case numbers are getting low enough and Simon says the health care system will be able to absorb the demand for testing without the Walker testing site. He believes the Ohio National Guard working the site would be better utilized elsewhere since hospitals are still inundated.

“Admissions tend to lag about two weeks behind the caseload, so the hospitals are still pretty busy even though the number of people being admitted has decreased dramatically,” he said.

If you need a COVID-19 test you can still look for appointments at your local pharmacy or request home test kids from the federal government’s new website. There are also community testing sites at the Stark County Fairgrounds and the Avita Ontario Hospital in Mansfield.

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