COVID-19 Testing: When & Where
Currently, the United States has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths in the world. It is important to be vigilant now and in the future, to stop the spread. Joining me is Mihaela Vincze, public health expert for nonprofit Transamerica Institute, here to discuss when and where to get tested for COVID-19.
Al: Thanks for joining me. Mihaela: Thank you for having me. Al: We all know that testing plays a major role in fighting COVID-19 — for our health, the health of our neighbors, and to safely reopen our communities. Can you let us know when it is recommended to get tested?
Mihaela: If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is encouraged that you check with your healthcare provider or a or a public health professional to get guidance on if you should get tested, according to the CDC. It is especially important to seek out this information if you have symptoms, were exposed to people who were sick, were around many people who were not wearing face coverings, and/or you were not keeping a safe distance in the past 2 weeks.
Al: For those listening, where can someone find information to get tested?
Mihaela: After checking with a healthcare professional, you can find a testing center near you by going to your state or local health department’s website. For Maryland, that’s health.maryland.gov. This site will direct you to the page where you can find testing centers near you. All you must do is enter your address in the search field. You can also find out important information such as if the site requires an appointment, if it is drive thru or walk-up, and if it is free. Don’t forget to contact the testing site to learn more about their hours of operation, appointment procedures, and other requirements, to confirm the information available online.
Al: For those who are eager about getting a free test, could you tell me more about that?
Mihaela: COVID-19 tests are available nationwide at no cost at either health centers and select pharmacies, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. For Maryland, this includes CVS Health, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart.
Al: All very important information. So now that people know where and how to prepare to get a test, are there any other considerations?
Mihaela: If you do decide to get tested, it is important to self-isolate while your test results are pending, even from members of your household. This is especially important if you have symptoms or were in close contact—less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes— with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Al: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the listeners?
Mihaela: Yes, always contact a healthcare professional for guidance if you think that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. They will be able to direct you to the appropriate resources. Al: Thank you again for joining us, Mihaela. Mihaela: Thank you for having me.
Al: This has been another episode of ClearPath Radio – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth. I am your host Al Waller – thanks for listening.