With a high demand for COVID-19 tests following the holidays, New 6 explored who should be getting tested and when.
We spoke with Dr. Ali Mokdad, of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who has been studying COVID-19 and how it’s spread.
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When asked about when someone should get tested, Mokdad said it’s only necessary if it will change a person’s behavior or actions. He added unless someone needs to make a decision about traveling, returning to work or seeing other people, testing should be reserved for those who need it.
“If you have severe symptoms, seek medical care, there’s no question about that,” Mokdad said.
He said if symptoms are mild and similar to the common cold, why get tested?
Dr. Todd Husty, medical director for the Maitland Fire Department, agreed.
But the two health experts had different testing time frames in mind.
While Mokdad said COVID-19 can be detected by a test once symptoms appear, Husty argued that getting a test on day three or four may yield more accurate results, depending on the type of test.
Husty added at-home tests are notorious for not being accurate soon after a COVID-19 infection, in which a person has experienced only one or two days of symptoms.
But both doctors said quarantine and communication is key to stopping the spread.
“First thing you do is you self-quarantine, meaning that you hang out by yourself,” said Dr. Husty.
Additionally, they said a person should also make anyone they’ve come in contact with aware of the fact they are experiencing symptoms.