The world continues to see the COVID pandemic spreading at a high rate. Meanwhile, with a limited amount of tests, healthcare professionals are providing testing to individuals who needed it the most.
Accordingly to the CDC guidelines, since most people may experience mild symptoms, they shall be able to recover at home without the need for medical care. Therefore, COVID testing is not strictly necessary for every infected individual.
In this article, we will highlight three signals that indicate that you may need a COVID test:
1. If you have COVID symptoms and are in the high-risk group of developing severe illness
The risk of getting infected with COVID is the same for everyone. However, the severity of the symptoms caused by COVID-19 varies depending on each person.
Severe symptoms caused by COVID-19 may put at risk the lives of individuals or cause them to develop permanent disabilities. Meaning, these people may need to be hospitalized, receive intensive care, or use specialized medical equipment — such as breathing ventilators.
Individuals considered to be in the high-risk group to develop severe illness from COVID-19 are:
Adults among the age group of 85 or older are at the highest risk. However, adults 50 and older may also be at risk.
Individuals with underlying medical conditions
You may be in the high-risk group if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Diabetes (Type 1 or type 2)
- Pulmonary conditions (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis)
- Immunocompromised state or weakened immune system
- Heart conditions
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sickle cell disease
To prevent severe symptoms from developing and jeopardize the health of these individuals is necessary to diagnose COVID-19 as soon as possible. If you are in the high-risk group, monitor your health, and reach a healthcare provider if showing COVID symptoms.
2. If you had close contact with an infected person
For COVID-19, close contact is when you are near an infected person within a distance of 6 feet for 15 minutes or more.
Close contact still counts regardless if you were wearing a mask or Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
For how long can infected people transmit the virus?
For an infected person to transmit the virus, it will depend on their illness condition:
- Symptomatic. Symptomatic patients can infect others from 2 days before symptoms start to appear until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- Asymptomatic. Asymptomatic people can transmit COVID to others from 2 days before they have a positive lab result until they meet the requirements to end home isolation.
3. If you are sick and your doctor hasn’t been able to diagnose you with an illness different from COVID
There is a wide range of COVID-19 symptoms, and a lot of them are similar to the common flu.
If you are not in the high-risk group to develop severe illness from COVID, you may have to wait until your doctor rules out that symptoms are not due to a disease different from COVID-19.
COVID-19 symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Fever or chills
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Loss of taste or smell
Who decides if I can get tested?
The CDC provides guidelines about COVID-19, but it is the state, healthcare providers, and local health departments who decide who must get tested.
If you have any of the signs mentioned in this article, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
BASS Urgent Care provides a wide range of medical services, including treatment for symptoms of COVID-19. Contact us today through our Urgent Care Online portal. We are here for you.