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Who can be tested for coronavirus today? This is who is eligible for COVID-19 tests



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It can be difficult to be tested for coronavirus at your location.


James Martin / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of coronavirus continues to increase around the world, with more facilities changing in COVID-19 test sites from drive-through test sites to ready-to-use medical centers . However, getting a test is not as easy as simply showing up at a test site. If you do, chances are you will be rejected, at least for the time being. The situation changes quickly as more test kits are made and deployed.

Testing tells us a few things: It confirms COVID-19 in people who are believed to have it – that is, they show symptoms. But it also tells us whether people who seem asymptomatic harbor the virus. If so, they can spread it unconsciously. This knowledge helps protect vulnerable groups with a higher risk of death by protecting the COVID-19 disease .

Here's what you need to know about who can be tested for the coronavirus.

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Drive-through test sites request that you stay in your car with the windows up.


James Martin / CNET

Can anyone just be tested?

It depends on where you live. In California, El Dorado County and Los Angeles offer free testing to all residents, even if they show no symptoms. However, they still have to make an appointment.

Some cities and states may be able to test more people if they have more access to the test kits themselves. For example, tens of thousands of test kits are being diverted to New York State, a coronavirus hotspot and the main site of COVID-19 fatalities, as the need there is high. New York plans to produce its own test kits this month.

As a result, the limited number of tests available at each site is often reserved for patients at higher risk (eg, patients with underlying health conditions ) or those who show strong symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, and bluish lips or face.

Scientists are working with the FDA to get a new tool approved. It is a CRISPR based system known as Detectr that was able to detect the disease within 40 minutes . Coronavirus treatments are also being tested and tried in animals and humans.

How do I get a doctor's order to be tested?

In many cases, you must have an appointment and a doctor to be eligible for a coronavirus test.

Each state has its own testing policy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you contact your national health department for more information. They can also let you know which test site to visit.

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When to Seek Medical Help

Coughing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell are symptoms of coronavirus but the CDC says that if you have trouble breathing, that is a more serious symptom and an indication to seek medical help. Other serious symptoms include chest pain or pressure, confusion, and bluish lips or face.

You should also seek medical attention if you are a higher risk person – age 65 or older, or someone with hypertension, heart disease, autoimmune disease, moderate to severe asthma, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or severe obesity .

CDC Priorities for First Testing

The CDC has guidelines for patients to be tested first for coronavirus in three priority levels.

Priority One: Hospitalized Patients and Symptomatic Health Professionals.

Priority Two: High Risk Patients with Coronavirus Symptoms.

Priority Three: Testing of symptomatic individuals in the community, if resources allow.

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If you think you have coronavirus, you can solate yourself and check your symptoms.


Angela Lang / CNET

What if I am not tested and I think I have the corona virus?

The CDC notes that most people who have acquired COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home in self-isolation without medical care and therefore do not require testing.

If you do not meet the above requirements for immediate testing, you should do the following if you or someone in your household develops coronavirus . This is also a good time to either make a mask or buy one online to prevent the virus from spreading to others.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health – or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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