Infectious Diseases Society Of America Issues Guidelines To Help Prioritize Coronavirus Tests

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “We’re getting about two to three calls a day.”

Dr. Stacy Lane of the Central Outreach Wellness Center has good news for her patients.

Tests for coronavirus are more available now.

These test kits just started arriving at primary care offices. It’s a swab that goes into the back of the nose. It then goes to a private lab.

“Both Quest and Lab Corp have rolled out testing. We are able to get 10 test kits a day. We’ve done two,” says Dr. Lane.

It takes three to four days for a result.

Even with the increased availability, it’s not enough for everyone. So how do doctors prioritize?

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has issued some guidance on this with a series of tiers for testing.

“Like any other resource, we need to save this resource for the patients who need it the most,” says Dr. Stephen Colodny, an infectious diseases specialist at St. Clair Hospital.

It depends on the prevalence or the amount of disease in a community.

“In a low prevalence environment, we would test people who we think would have a high suspicion would be positive.”

“Once, and if, we get to a high prevalence environment in our area, then with limited testing we would likely test only those patients that are quite ill and require hospitalization and high levels of care.”

With expanded testing, positive tests are likely. What do you do if you’re positive? Isolate at home if you’re not ill. But for breathing troubles, call ahead to the ER for medical care.