David Harvey Washington testing infection David Harvey Washington

COVID testing blitz undermined screening, fight against STDs

www.clickorlando.com

WASHINGTON – After an unprecedented push to test and track COVID-19, public health workers are grappling with a worrisome side effect: a collapse in screening for sexually transmitted diseases that have been on the rise for years.

Testing for diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea plummeted in many parts of the U.S. last year as COVID-19 sapped away resources and staff.

Health officials say this testing gap left them unable to track or control outbreaks of the diseases, which were already at record levels before the pandemic. “It’s clear there have been mass disruptions to testing, surveillance and clinical care and that’s likely making sexually transmitted infections worse than ever,” said David Harvey, executive director of the National

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