Remember the lines of cars as people queued up at drive-thru coronavirus testing sites? We don't see that these days, as the number of people getting tested is down drastically across the country.
Testing hit a nationwide high on Jan. 15, with more than 2 million tests that day. Melissa Leaston, director of nursing at the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury, she saw it here in Massachusetts.
"The big holiday season is over so people aren't traveling as much as they were at that time. We saw a sharp increase back then," Leaston said.
Massachusetts' testing hit a peak of 25,000 people on Jan. 8. Skip ahead to last Sunday and it plummeted to 9,600, a 60% drop -- even sharper than the national drop of 28% since mid-January.
Whether it's COVID fatigue or over-optimism about the vaccine, it's troubling to health experts.
"The vaccine will protect us better if we, at the same time, mitigate transmissions and use the playbook that we have: masking, testing and practicing physical distancing," said Dr. Rebecca Wientraub, a professor at Harvard‘s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Leaston points out that people counting on herd immunity are getting ahead of reality if they aren’t getting tested: "We still have to test. There's going to be some time before we can get enough herd immunity to go back to some semblance of being normal."
There are people who can't get vaccinated and they need to be protected from a virus that is still not under control, Leaston added.
Weintraub pointed out that vaccine protection doesn’t kick in until two weeks after the second dose, so testing even after you get the shot is a good idea.