Anyone who develops symptoms of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is urged to contact their health care provider about testing as soon as possible, according to new guidelines issued Monday from Clark County Public Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently expanded the list of symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and now urge health care providers to test all patients with COVID-19 symptoms, saying early testing is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.
For people with either a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, they may have COVID-19 and should call their health care provider to request testing right away, officials said. If someone has at least two of the following symptoms they should also call their health care provider to request testing: Fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
“It’s important that people get tested as soon as they begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “Early testing and identification of cases enables Public Health to isolate those who are sick and quarantine their close contacts. Doing this as early as possible will help us to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
Most health care facilities now offer COVID-19 testing. Testing should come at no cost to the patient, whether they have insurance or not. The Washington state insurance commissioner is requiring insurers to waive co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 testing.
For additional information about COVID-19 in Clark County, visit clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus.