What you need to know for coronavirus testing criteria


With testing supplies for COVID-19 in the U.S. being relatively low, experts agree the test cannot be administered to every person who thinks they have the coronavirus.

Even with 0 positive cases in the area, testing is occurring in the Basin.

There are people definitely receiving testing. The guidelines change everyday but the ideas don’t change. We have to follow certain criteria and protocol to test patients we believe have been exposed or have symptoms.

Dr. Vicki Vahkos-Webb, Physician at Complete Care in Midland

According to the CDC’s website, the criteria includes:

  1. Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control.
  2. Other symptomatic individuals such as, older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).
  3. Any persons including healthcare personnel2, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact3 with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed4 COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas5 (see below) within 14 days of their symptom onset.

Health officials say symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to more common viruses the general public sees all the time.

COVID 19 has symptoms very similar to the flu the cold allergies, it could always be something else. We want to screen the patients for other things. Before we jump to testing, we always check for strep, the flu we have even done some testing for the common cold before we test for COVID19 because those are obviously very common and we see them during this time

Dr. Vicki Vahkos-Webb, Physician at Complete Care in Midland

Doctors say the advice is the same if you feel you experience symptoms – regardless of a positive test or not.

Call your physician, stay home, have a special room that is a specific place for you. Try not to interact with family and pets. Always wipe down surfaces. If you have to leave, make sure you are wearing a mask. Use a separate bathroom as much as possible and hydrate – which is very important. But just communicate with your physician.

Dr. Vicki Vahkos-Webb, Physician at Complete Care in Midland

Of course, people with severe symptoms will be admitted to the hospital with the coronavirus or not.

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