Free STD Clinic Hopes to Fight Test Ban During COVID Pandemic | Local News
“A lot has been left out,” she said, regarding preventive care during the pandemic.
Many STD clinics closed or reduced their working hours during lockdowns last spring, according to the Associated Press. Staff who previously helped track infections have been reassigned to focus on COVID-19. And the labs that handle most STD tests have been forced to ration supplies to focus on the influx of incoming COVID-19 samples, the AP reported.
According to the Associated Press, survey data from the National Coalition of STD Directors, which represents state and local health workers, shows that even in January of this year, 40% of STD programs were still operating with a staff reduced due to COVID-19.
This has led to cuts in services to detect and fight infections that can often spread with little to no immediate symptoms, the AP said.
The Illinois Supreme Court issued an order this week creating stricter guarantees for tenants seeking rent relief under the governor’s eviction moratorium.
Possible evidence of an increase in STIs could appear now, Clark said. She said there had been a marked increase in syphilis cases over the past four months. However, she added that it was difficult to pinpoint COVID-19 as the sole culprit.
Clark said she would be interested to see in the months and years to come what consequences the lack of testing, not only for STDs but for things like cancer, has impacted public health.