How medical pros decide whether to test someone for COVID-19

This checklist could be useful to prospective patients — as well as health-care workers.

A COVID-19 assessment sheet for health-care providers, issued by the Washington State Department of Health.

A COVID-19 assessment sheet for health-care providers, issued by the Washington State Department of Health.

Now that test kits are more widely available for COVID-19, the new coronavirus, how are health professionals deciding whether someone should be tested?

Below is a checklist form they are using. It’s provided by the Washington State Department of Health. It might be useful for prospective patients, too.

After answering questions about a person’s health profile, the form lists steps to be taken if the patient qualifies for additional routine testing, including how to isolate a potentially infected person and to protect health-care workers.

If a patient is tested for the coronavirus, the Snohomish Health District recommends immediate isolation:

“If you test a patient for COVID-19, you should direct them to remain isolated at home. Any ill household contact should also stay home. Well household contacts will be managed depending on the results of the tested patient, with quarantine for well household contacts of infected patients.”

Some terms here might be unfamiliar:

ARDS: Acute respiratory distress syndrome

LRI: Lower respiratory tract infection

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