Due to the widespread shortages of laboratory supplies and reagents, only three specific groups should be prioritized for novel coronavirus testing, according to a joint statement made by the Association of Public Health Laboratories and partner groups on Friday.

The groups are:

  1. Healthcare workers and first responders with Covid-19 symptoms. 
  2. Older Americans with Covid-19 symptoms.
  3. Individuals who have other illnesses that would be treated differently if they were infected with Covid-19.

These three groups differ from those recommended to be prioritized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends testing for:

  • Hospitalized patients with Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Older individuals and those with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state.
  • Anyone developing symptoms within 14 days of contact with a presumed or confirmed Covid-19 patient, or travel to an affected geographic area.

The APHL recommended that healthy individuals who are not able to get tested should practice social distancing and follow recommendations provided by their state and local public health authorities. The group also suggested that people with mild illness should stay at home, monitor their symptoms and contact a healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.“Testing for individuals outside these three groups is not recommended until testing supplies and capacity become more widely available,” the statement said.

Source: CNN News

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