Many people are confused about how to get tested for the coronavirus as information is constantly changing. GoodRx, a national marketplace for healthcare, asked medical and public health experts to compile an overview for Newsmax readers about what they should know about getting a COVID-19 test.
Here are their answers to the most common questions:
Who should get tested for coronavirus?
Because of the lack of coronavirus tests, and to support the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals and other public settings, most people with mild symptoms are encouraged to self-isolate at home while staying in touch with their healthcare provider. Those who are considered high risk should be tested. These include people who are 65 years or older, have severe symptoms, have compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions, or who are healthcare workers.
Where can I get a coronavirus test if I need one?
You will need an order from a physician. You can contact yourhealth care provider or set up a free online screening visit with a doctor to determine if you should be tested. Once you have an order from a physician, you can visit a drive-through testing site. Visit GoodRx's comprehensive list of sites state by state, which are updated regularly with the latest information.
How long does the drive-through test take?
The sample collection takes only five to 10 minutes, but you may have a long wait time, especially if you live in a big city and the facility doesn't take appointments. The experts warn that the drive-through site may not have bathroom facilities, so plan ahead. It could take up to a week to get results.
How do I prepare for the coronavirus test?
Bring your physician's order and a photo ID. Check online or call your testing facility beforehand in case they have other instructions. Some testing sites require that you refrain from taking any fever-reducing medications before testing and refrain from eating. Also, they may ask that you limit the number of people inside the vehicle with you. Bring a pen and paper in case you need to write down any information.
What if I do have COVID-19 symptoms but don’t need immediate care?
Follow the appropriate steps to self-isolate and wait for your symptoms to pass. You can contact your primary care provider or an urgent care center to discuss your symptoms and when it's appropriate to take the next steps.
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