the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, While mask reluctance and refusal has been a common phenomenon throughout the US COVID-19 epidemic, there are also increasing reports of reluctance toward testing. Testing volume and capacity vary widely across the country, with some states having greatly increased their capacity and others still largely limited to symptomatic individuals; however, even in areas with sufficient testing capacity, some individuals may resist getting tested. Factors driving this reluctance could include the desire to keep schools or businesses open (eg, by not contributing to reported incidence or triggering contact investigations at local businesses), personal concerns about isolation or quarantine, and political viewpoints. Personal autonomy is a major driver of testing hesitancy, much like for anti-vaccine sentiment or vaccine hesitancy, with some individuals viewing their ability to decide whether or not to be tested as their personal right. Notably, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that employers can mandate diagnostic testing for employees who work on site, illustrating the competing interests between personal autonomy and public benefit, particularly under “exceptional circumstances” like a pandemic. The extent of testing reluctance remains unknown, but it is evident that more work is necessary in order to both educate the public on the importance of testing and better characterize the degree to which individuals and communities experience testing reluctance.