Medical experts offer guidelines for coronavirus testing

Guidelines for coronavirus testing

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As COVID-19 numbers climb... some are wondering if they should be tested to be on the safe side.

Doctors don’t want the emergency rooms filled if you have similar symptoms.

Getting tested without definite coronavirus symptoms could take valuable time and resources from those with the illness.

Medical experts are trying to stop unnecessary COVID-19 testing and trips to the ER.

"Often times patients are just going to need some reassurance and to isolate themselves," said Dr. Alan Jones, Chair of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine.

Physicians say most people without exposure to the coronavirus do not need to be tested.

“If you are concerned you may have the virus and you don’t believe that you are dramatically worsening or that you are in need of hospitalization for that, then we would urge you strongly to say away from the emergency department and use some type of telephone or telehealth option to get some advice,” said Jones.

UMMC plans to soon offer widely available telehealth.

"If you become symptomatic and you think you may have coronavirus, number one you don’t necessarily need to be tested you could stay at home and you should stay at home for a duration of time that is seven days after symptom onset or 72 hours after symptoms resolve, whichever one of those periods is longer, added the UMMC physician.

If you have the symptoms a doctor or health care provider can examine you safely and test for COVID-19 as needed.

The Mississippi Department of Public Health Laboratory is testing samples submitted by physicians and health care providers.

Private labs in the state are also performing tests for the respiratory virus.

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