ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania – The Lehigh Valley Health Network will now test only certain people for COVID-19 due to shortages of test kits and other test supplies, LVHN said in a press release.
The new criteria have been implemented in all the evaluation and test centers of the LVHN network.
According to the new criteria, only symptomatic people aged 65 and older, symptomatic people at higher risk of complications and other defined symptomatic risky individuals will be tested for COVID-19, said LVHN.
The new test criteria have been recommended in light of persistent regional and national shortages of COVID-19 test kits and other test supplies, said LVHN.
Symptomatic people at higher risk for complications include people with chronic lung disease and asthma, major heart disease, immunosuppression, diabetes, morbid obesity, chronic kidney disease and chronic liver disease. In addition, those at higher risk include pregnant women, those living in long-term care facilities, health care workers and first responders.
LVHN no longer recommends testing people with symptoms of COVID-19 infection who live with someone who has a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. These patients may be presumed to have COVID-19 and should be encouraged to follow the same recommendations for those infected, said LVHN.
Otherwise, healthy individuals with classic symptoms of COVID-19 infection who are not considered to be at high risk based on the test criteria will no longer be tested. LVHN encourages these people to isolate themselves (separate from others) at home, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take anti-fever medications.
COVID-19 screening options continue to be available for people with signs of infection. These options include accessing LVHN electronic tours at LVHN.org/evisit, calling the LVHN information line at 888-402-LVHN, or scheduling a LVHN virtual screening at LVHN.org/videoscreening. A health care professional will assess and, if necessary, provide a suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. They will also provide personal care instructions.