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Coronavirus Testing Is Available But Not Everyone Needs to Be Tested

NIAID, Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/2isTxpT
Scanning electron microscope image showing SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the US emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab";s:

"Not everyone who has the sniffles needs to be tested."

Michelle O'Neill reports that's what the Medical Director of the Scott County Health Department says about the current protocol for coronavirus testing.

Credit Governor Tom Wolf, Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/2iBqYYz / Governor Tom Wolf, Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/2iBqYYz
Governor Tom Wolf, Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/2iBqYYz
State public health laboratory in Exton, PA tests for COVID-19. Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist, Kerry Pollard, performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on March 6, 2020.

This week, Dr. Louis Katz says the requirements for coronavirus testing have been relaxed.

And the tests are commercially available, so people who are sick should be able to be tested.

"Now, should we test every person with a runny nose in Scott and Rock Island counties? No, I don't think so." That's because there are zero cases of "sustained  community transmission" in the Quad Cities, at least, "none that we're aware of."

Sustained Community Transmission refers to COVID-19 (or any pathogen) spreading from person-to-person in a specific geographic location, for example, the outbreak in the State of Washington. 

Doctors, clinics, and hospitals are following government guidelines to decide who should be tested for coronavirus.

  1. Does the patient have a fever and lower respiratory illness, a cough or difficulty breathing?
  2. Has the patient recently traveled to an affected location with sustained transmission, such as China or Italy? Or has the person been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient?

Katz says anyone with symptoms who wants to be tested should CALL their health care provider first. That's one of the four "Cs" to remember.

  • Clean your hands.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Contain infection by staying home.
  • Call ahead so health care workers can protect themselves and others when you arrive.

More information is available at CDC.gov. Links are also available on the Scott and Rock Island county health department websites. 

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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