COVID-19 Testing: Importance And Accessibility

Posted on: 30 December 2020

As COVID-19 continues to take a toll across the United States, the possibility of vaccination offers hope that there might be an end in sight. Unfortunately, it will be many months before vaccinations will be widespread enough to bring an end to the pandemic. In addition to the protective measures that health care professionals have been advocating, COVID-19 testing is another important way to help curb the spread of the virus during the interim.

Why Testing Is So Important

As more and more businesses, schools, and entertainment venues begin to open, continued protective actions remain a primary tactic for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. And the increasing demand for testing signals the growing recognition that testing for the virus is an important step for helping to stem the predicted surge in cases as more and more people venture out.

Testing people who show signs of infection, such as fever, sore throat, labored breathing, body aches, and loss of the sense of smell and taste, or those who have been exposed to the virus, is important so they can seek immediate medical attention. They can also realize the necessity of self-quarantining to keep from spreading it to friends, coworkers, and loved ones. But testing is equally as important for those people who show no signs. These asymptomatic people may spread the virus because they have no idea they are infected.

Testing Is Becoming Easier and Quicker

Early in the pandemic, access to testing was limited and required a sample from the back of a person's throat, which was difficult and uncomfortable. And it took a week or more to get the results back, meaning greater risk of spreading the virus. New technologies, easier sample collection, and quicker results have expanded the nation's testing capabilities.  A simple nose swab is all that's typically needed, results can be returned in as little as 15 minutes, and at many locations, you don't even have to leave your car.

In addition, many workplaces are beginning to offer COVID-19 testing to employees, and nursing homes and assisted living facilities are making testing available to their at-risk residents. And at-home tests are becoming increasingly available, so soon, you might not even have to leave the comfort of your living room.

The best way to get A COVID-19 test is to consult with your health care provider. You can also contact your state or local health department or check their website for locations that offer testing.

Contact a local COVID-19 testing center for more information.