BY Art Moore(WND NEWSCENTER) Emergency rooms in Vermont are being overwhelmed with people who have tested positive for COVID but have no symptoms, bolstering the criticism that mass testing amid a pandemic is counterproductive.
Vermont, with about 77% of the population vaccinated, has the nation’s highest rate, but local WCAX-TV reported Vermonters who take the rapid tests and test positive for COVID-19 are “clogging up emergency rooms.”
Dr. Rick Hildebrant, medical director of the emergency department at the Rutland Regional Medical Center, said people should go to the ER only if they have a positive test and are very sick.
The Vermont Hospital Association told WCAX it is hearing of a similar situation in other parts of the New England state, with people who test positive with an antigen test going to the emergency room looking for a PCR test.
However, in January, as WND reported, the World Health Organization officially acknowledged that the “gold standard” PCR test used to diagnose COVID-19 has a high rate of false-positives that make it unreliable. The WHO warns that most PCR tests “are indicated as an aid for diagnosis,” meaning health care providers should consider at least seven other factors to confirm any diagnosis. A study in April 2020 found the “evidence shows that false positive PCR results are common enough to impact clinical and policy decisions.” In August 2020, the New York Times examined PCR testing data in three states and found “up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus” and, therefore, were not infectious.
The Vermont hospital director, Hildebrant, told WCAX the flood of asymptomatic people is blocking care from people who need it.
“It’s not so much the beds that are the precious resource, it’s the staff at this time,” he explained. “So we have to have some of our clinical staff providing care to those people and they can’t provide care to the folks in the ER.”
He added that going to the emergency department also potentially exposes people to someone with COVID who is very sick.
The Daily Telegraph of London reported one in three COVID-19 patients in the U.K. may have caught the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a hospital while being treated for other conditions, according to government data.
Many medical scientists have argued that mass testing of symptomatic people during an epidemic is counterproductive. COVID-19, in particular, has been driven largely by transmission from symptomatic people, according to studies. The real metric, they contend, should be the rate of people requiring hospitalization for COVID-19 and of deaths caused by the disease.
In the current omicron-variant wave, cases have risen dramatically while hospitalizations and deaths are down, compared to previous waves. And the symptoms of omicron have been compared to a coronavirus cousin, the common cold.
In the U.K., which Dr. Anthony Fauci has said tends to be a few weeks ahead of the U.S., the number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is one-fifth the number in January 2021 and about the same as the September figure.
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