Whence can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area? (2)

Q: I think I'm sick. What am I doing?

First of all, you should contact your doctor and tell him what you are going through. Independent testing is not an option. Depending on COVID-19's policies, you may be asked to make a video or phone call and not leave home.

From there, your doctor will decide if you qualify for the test and tell you where to go. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had very restrictive guidelines; now offers a "priority list" but relies on the clinician's judgment. The decision to test affects your age, your medical condition, the severity of your symptoms, and other factors.

If you have mild symptoms of a cold and do not have a history of COVID-19 exposure, even if you are over 65 years of age, "we strongly recommend that you do not go to an emergency room or a healthcare facility.", a Los Altos geriatrician. Too many establishments are sending elderly patients to hospitals, he said. You may have a routine respiratory illness.

"Stay at home in isolation, see your doctor and monitor your symptoms," he said. "Also, there is a good chance that you will be exposed to COVID-19 by going to the emergency room or emergency room."

If possible, stay away from other family members, Cody said. Ideally, stay in your room. Do not share a shared bathroom.

Q: I'm sick. Will I get a priority for tests?

It depends. If you meet specific criteria - symptoms and risk factors - you will be eligible, but the details depend on your doctor.

Sutter Health, which serves more than 100 communities in northern California, said it follows the CDC guidelines.

"Sutter is collecting test specimens for COVID-19 or influenza from high-risk patients, such as those with certain pre-existing conditions or social risks," said a spokesman. "Sutter should keep a stock of tests for this population, and according to the CDC guidelines, collect tests only from patients with symptoms and these risk factors."

For Kaiser Permanente and other providers, priority is given to hospitalized patients. That's because hospitals need to know who to isolate, Witt said.

Further, what the CDC calls "high-risk" people - those over the age of 65 or who have diabetes, lung disease, or other underlying conditions. Pregnant women in the third quarter are also a priority. This is followed by healthcare professionals with public exposure to COVID-19 and "first-person careers" such as doctors, police, and firefighters.

Priorities may also vary from county to county. In Contra Costa County, for example, patients in prisons, care homes, and nursing homes and caregivers are at the top of their priority list, a spokesman for county health services said. Will Harper.

So what is your test requirement if you are not at high risk and have not been in contact with a confirmed patient but have COVID-19 symptoms?

"At this point, nothing," Witt said, encouraging people to follow state orders to stay home and assume that COVID-19 could be a disease.

If you have severe respiratory symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, your doctor may ask you to be tested.

Because very few physician offices offer on-site testing, you may be referred to an emergency clinic or hospital. If your vendor provides tests, it may not be in your usual office. For example, Kaiser Permanente and Stanford Health Care test driving test sites in the Bay to ensure that infected people do not come in contact with other patients or clinicians.

Verily's pilot screening program - a Google affiliate advocated by President Donald Trump in a recent speech - began this week in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
Individuals conduct an online review and, if they have a priority for testing, contact them on the phone to schedule an appointment at a mobile testing site.

It aims to complement overcrowded hospitals by focusing on at-risk people who are not so ill that they would need immediate medical attention. More than 174,000 people visited the site when it was discovered, Governor Gavin Newsom said this week, and about 320 people were tested on Tuesday.

The review "is dynamic, and the criteria may change over time, depending on epidemiological data," a spokesman said.


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