Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have been exposed

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

COVID-19 testing is a key strategy for reducing the spread of the virus in our community.

Public Health – Seattle and King County is now recommending that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away.

Testing as soon as possible after symptoms appear is important to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to family, friends, and the community.

Previously, due to supply shortages, Washington state prioritized testing for people most at risk for severe illness, healthcare providers and first responders. 

Now, Washington State Department of Health has expanded the criteria for who should be tested, and supplies of testing kits and personal protective equipment are increasing.

According to Dr. Puneet Dewan who is coordinating the COVID-19 testing efforts for Public Health, anyone who is experiencing even mild COVID-like symptoms should isolate themselves away from others and call their healthcare provider. 

Getting tested as soon as possible is important to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The most concerning symptoms are cough or shortness of breath. But if you have two or more of the following symptoms, you should also call to be evaluated for a test: Fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell

It is important to isolate yourself as soon as you develop symptoms, even before you are tested, because if you have COVID-19, you are already contagious.

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, it’s important to take action quickly and follow the instructions on the “What to do” factsheet. People who live in the same household or are in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should also be tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Most testing is completed through healthcare providers. You should call your healthcare provider if you feel sick, live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. 

If you need to be tested and don’t have a provider who can do the test, please don’t delay. Call the King County COVID-19 call center, which is open 7 days a week 8 AM – 7 PM, at 206-477-3977.

Additional testing sites are becoming available for people who do not have access. Currently this includes:

If you don’t have a healthcare provider or insurance, it’s good to get connected before you get sick. You can call Public Health’s access line (1-800-756-5437) for help, or learn more online at Washington Healthplanfinder

Enrollment is open any time if you lose your job or experience other major life events.

More information about testing HERE


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