(Posted April 14, 2020)
Madison County Public Health (MCPH) is working with Madison Health and other community partners on coronavirus (COVID-19) response, including the expansion of COVID-19 testing. As testing becomes more widely available, it is important to understand who can get tested and how to get testing.
- Only people who have symptoms are being tested. People who do not have symptoms are not being tested at this time. The tests available now are effective for use on people who are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other related symptoms include headache, body aches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, pink eye, and loss of the sense of taste and smell. Anyone who has any of these symptoms should talk to their doctor.
- Your doctor must write you an order for a COVID-19 test. Your doctor will evaluate you (either in person or over the phone) and provide an order for a test if he or she believes you need it based on their exam and professional opinion. Please do not demand an order from your doctor. Trust and respect our healthcare providers.
- Testing locations require an appointment. If your doctor writes an order for you to be tested, you will receive instructions from the doctor about the location to go to for testing. Before you go to a patient care center for a test, you must make an appointment. Think of it like making an appointment for an X-ray. People who work at COVID-19 patient care centers are trained to collect and handle samples and then send them to specific labs for testing.
Some patients may be referred to an appointment-based patient care center that tests for COVID-19. These places are often called swabbing centers. Some doctors may eventually be able to do COVID-19 tests in their offices. Now that testing is becoming more widely available, talk to your doctor about getting a test if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Stay away from other people in your household if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should call your primary doctor to see if you need to be evaluated or tested. If you do not have a doctor, you can call Madison Health at (740) 845-7400.
Your doctor may decide over the phone if an in-person assessment or testing is needed. Just like many regular lab tests, a doctor’s order is required for a COVID-19 test. Even without testing a doctor can give you the best advice about how to manage your health at home.
MCPH will continue to provide accurate local data on its website at covid.madisonph.org and on social media (@madisoncountyPH). Direct questions about COVID-19 to MCPH at (740) 852-3065 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-4ASK-ODH.