Who should get COVID-19 testing?

Increasingly common question with greater availability of test kits for hospitals.

For home testing: short answer is no one ( https://integrated.doctor/home-test-kits/)

Hospitals need to carefully select who will benefit from testing. This criteria may change with greater data, but the general guidelines are:

  • Admitted/hospitalized patients with COVID-19 symptoms (to inform infection control)
  • High risk individuals (watch for upcoming post defining this population)
  • Health care personnel with symptoms AND with close contact of suspected or confirmed infections OR risky travel (watch for upcoming post on travel)
  • To contribute to epidemiologic risk assessment

Remember, mildly ill patients should be stay home! DO NOT go to a hospital or clinic “just” to be tested! This places YOU and your community at risk!

You can call/e-mail your doctor, but don’t go in person (even if high risk for disease severity).

At this point, testing is becoming more available in California, and we do not have reason to be concerned about the accuracy of these tests.

Severe symptoms (difficulty breathing, etc.) should prompt seeking care immediately, however.


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