Can you get tested for coronavirus today? Here is who qualifies for COVID-19 tests

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It can be difficult to get tested for coronavirus in your area.

James Martin / CNET

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

With the increasing number of coronavirus cases around the world, more and more facilities have turned into COVID-19 test sites, from driving test locations to medical centers set up for the task at hand. However, getting a test is not as simple as just showing up at a test site. If you do, chances are you will be refused. At least for now – the situation is changing rapidly as new test kits are manufactured and deployed.

The test tells us a few things: it confirms COVID-19 in people who are presumed to have it – that is, they have symptoms. But it also tells us whether people who seem asymptomatic also harbor the virus. If they are, they can spread it without knowing it. This knowledge helps protect vulnerable groups at higher risk of death COVID-19 disease.

Here’s what you need to know about people who can get tested for coronavirus.

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The driving test locations require you to stay in your car with the windows open.

James Martin / CNET

Can anyone get tested?

In the United States, not right now. Some cities and states may be able to test more people if they themselves have more access to the test kits. For example, tens of thousands of test kits are currently being diverted to New York State, a coronavirus hotspot and primary COVID-19-related death site, as the need is great. New York plans to manufacture its own test kits in May, but need FDA approval first.

As a result, the limited number of tests available at each site is often reserved for high-risk patients (e.g. underlying health conditions) or these showing 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’s a Based on CRISPR system known as Detectr and could detect the disease in less than 40 minutes. Coronavirus treatments are also being tested and tested on animals and humans.

How can I get a doctor’s prescription to be tested?

In many cases, you will need to have an appointment and a doctor’s prescription to be eligible for a coronavirus test.

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


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When to consult a doctor

Fever and cough are two symptoms of coronavirus, but the CDC says that if you’re having trouble breathing, it’s a more serious symptom and a referral to see a doctor. Other serious symptoms include pain or pressure in the chest, confusion and bluish lips or face.

You should also consult a doctor if you are a high-risk person – aged 65 and over, or someone with hypertension, heart disease, autoimmune disease, moderate to severe asthma, kidney disease or liver, diabetes or severe obesity.

CDC priorities for who takes the test first

The CDC has advice on patients who should first be screened for coronavirus in three priority levels.

Priority one: Hospitalized patients and symptomatic health care workers.

Priority two: High risk patients with symptoms of coronavirus.

Priority three: Test symptomatic individuals in the community, if resources allow.

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If you think you have a coronavirus, isolate yourself and watch your symptoms.

Angela Lang / CNET

What happens if I don’t get tested and think I have coronavirus?

The CDC notes that most people who have acquired COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and may recover at home in self-isolation without medical care, and therefore do not need to be tested.

If you do not meet the above conditions for immediate testing, here’s what to do if you or someone in your household gets a coronavirus. It’s also a good time to face a mask or buy one online to help prevent the spread of the virus to others.


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

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