CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines for coronavirus testing.
The CDC recommends that doctors should first check for symptoms - cough, fever, shortness of breath - and prioritize tests for people who are the most severely ill and at the highest risk for complications.
- Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to help make decisions related to controlling the infection
- Other people with symptoms such as older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk
There are other factors that may also help make decisions about coronavirus testing including infections in the area and known community transmission.
People with severe symptoms like difficulty breathing should seek medical attention immediately.
People who are mildly ill are being encouraged to stay home (self-isolate) and contact their healthcare provider by phone for instructions about how to manage their symptoms.
The Ohio Department of Health has developed a tier-based testing strategy for people suspected of having COVID-19:
- Tier 1 - Inpatients at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, including long-term care, with possible coronavirus symptoms
- Tier 2 - Healthcare workers at Tier 1 institutions with symptoms and all people in public safety occupations
- Tier 3 - People with mild-to-moderate symptoms who are at high risk — elderly, and those with serious medical problems
- Tier 4 - Testing is not currently recommended for people with mild/moderate symptoms and without risk factors for adverse outcomes
- Tier 5 - Testing for people without symptoms is not currently recommended
As far as when people can stop self-quarantine or at home isolation, the CDC says at least 72 hours should have passed since recovery (no fever without using medication and improvement of respiratory symptoms) and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.