One thing we know for sure – every single person can help our country control the COVID-19 pandemic. From wearing a mask to washing our hands to maintaining social distancing and avoiding large indoor gatherings, each of us can follow proven public health practices that can reduce our chance of getting infected by COVID-19 and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our families and friends.
Another thing that will help is COVID-19 testing as many people as possible.
Scientists across the world are working hard to establish programs that will help give access to rapid and reliable COVID-19 testing around the world. Testing for COVID-19 can help people determine if they are infected, asymptomatic carriers, or whether they are at risk of spreading the infection to others.
We want to take this opportunity to articulate why testing for COVID-19 is necessary, important, and achievable.
- COVID-19 Testing Saves Lives
COVID-19 testing everyone including those who have no symptoms, who show symptoms of infection, and those who may have been exposed to the virus will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by identifying people who require care ASAP. A positive COVID-19 test early in the course of the illness will help individuals isolate themselves, thus reducing the chances that they will infect others and allowing them to look for treatment earlier, therefore reducing disease spread, severity, and the risk of long-term disability, or in worst cases, death.
COVID-19 testing of people who have been in close contact with others is also important. A negative COVID-19 test doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. So even if you test negative, you need to continue to protect yourself and others by continuing to washing your hands regularly, socially distancing, and wearing a face mask properly. A positive COVID-19 test means that you have to strictly isolate yourself. Make sure that others you have been in close contact or interaction with in the past fourteen days should also go get tested.
- Testing for COVID-19 Can Be Quick, Easy, And Hassle-free
Before, the only COVID-19 test available requires getting a sample from the back of your throat.
New developments have provided a better solution that is equally as accurate as the previous COVID-19 test. This COVID-19 test obtains the sample from inside the nose. Large-scale uses are COVID-19 tests that will use a simple mouth swab or a saliva sample to get results.
A positive COVID-19 test lets the individual know that they have the infection. Not only can they get treated faster, but they can take the necessary steps to stop or minimize the spread.
This is why it is so important to get the test results quickly, ideally within a few hours or less.
In the early days of the pandemic, there wasn’t enough capacity and there were only limited supplies and facilities to collect and process the tests, which often resulted in tons of both minor and major delays. But nowadays, facilities and equipment have improved, and the capacity and supply have expanded exponentially, and the results are being returned, on average, within 3-4 days. There are COVID-19 tests that can provide same-day results COVID-19 testing!
3. COVID-19 Testing Matters More in The Communities Affected the Most
Minority communities are unreasonably burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most individuals in these communities are essential workers, who cannot work from home, thus increasing their risk of being exposed to the virus. Comorbid conditions that worsen the already terrible health risks of COVID-19, such as heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes, are also more common in these communities because of multiple societal and environmental factors. Therefore, COVID-19 can spread fairly quickly in these communities, and the impact of that spread is intense. COVID-19 testing, particularly of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals, is one of the keys to putting a stop to this continuous spread.
Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of confusion about who should get tested and where to go get tested. It’s common to be unaware of local testing locations near you. Frequently asked questions such as:
“I have no idea if there are any testing locations near me! Where should I go to find a COVID-19 rapid testing near me or a PCR test near me?”
You can try to contact your local health authorities to find more information on COVID-19 testing locations near you.
It is clear that for a person to test positive, they have to have a significant amount of the COVID-19 virus in their system. It only means that if you have no symptoms but you know or were told that you were in contact with a person infected with COVID-19, isolate yourself immediately, contact local health authorities, and go get tested.
COVID-19 testing is as ESSENTIAL as staying informed.
In the meantime, let’s all continue to protect ourselves and our loved ones from getting infected. Go get tested if you believe you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.