COVID-19 testing criteria narrowed to save supplies

Some public health officials are narrowing their recommendations for who should get a COVID-19 test because of a lack of supplies and an overwhelming demand for tests that have slowed average test result turnaround times around the country, The Wall Street Journal reported.

California's health department is focusing on testing hospitalized patients, those with symptoms, people who have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and high-risk patients. 

Some officials and physicians have started advising people who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to stay home and avoid getting tested unless they develop symptoms.

"I’m not really in favor of routine testing of the worried well, because I think it diverts resources from more targeted testing of people who are at higher risk," Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the Journal

Public health officials still recommend people in high-risk settings such as nursing homes, prisons and meatpacking facilities be screened regularly, as well as people displaying COVID-19 symptoms. 

Demand for COVID-19 tests has outpaced supply around the country, and wait times for results can be more than a week in some areas. 

Read the full article here

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