I’m in primary care: Who should I be testing for COVID-19?

March 3, 2020 – You’ve probably heard of 5-Minute Clinic Consult–well, this is going to be a 5-Second Clinical Consult. Primary care providers don’t have time for nonsense!

Who Should be Tested for COVID-19?

Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g. cough or shortness of breath)ANDAny person, including healthcare workers, who have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset

Yup, that’s it. Unless the patient requires hospitalization due to the severity of symptoms, these are your screening protocols from the CDC.

Clinical Pearls:

  • Contact your local health department immediately for further instructions
  • If instructed to take samples, do so on-site and send them directly to CDC (sputum, nose, and throat swabs)
  • If a patient calls with suspicious symptoms and exposure, have them call this CDC hotline for testing information: 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Since this article was first posted, a major focus of the pandemic has been dealing with long-COVID, or what some call long-haulers syndrome.

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