COVID-19 Test Facts
With all the rumors about COVID-19 tests flying around, we thought we’d bring you the facts straight from Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Martin.
He clarified that there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Scioto County but explained who should get a test and how to go about it.
Fact: You can’t just walk up and get a test. SOMC has drive-up testing but you need to call first to be pre-screened. Call the hotline number at (740) 356-CARE (2273).
Fact: Who needs a test? Most recommendations say they should be saved for people showing symptoms like a fever or a persistent dry cough. Or if you’ve traveled abroad or had contact with someone who has the virus or has been exposed. When you call the hotline, they’ll give you their test recommendations.
Dr. Martin said, “We do not have enough test kits. We’re trying to limit those to appropriate people.”
What happens after you are tested? You’ll be asked to self-quarantine for up to 14 days. This includes limiting your contacts with family members within your household.
Fact: When will the COVID-19 test come back? Dr. Martin says right not it’s been taking three to five days for results. “Interest in testing has increased. Hospital hotlines are getting 250 calls a day.”
Fact: What happens if you test positive? “If you are positive, you will be placed in isolation at your house. That may last up to 14 days. You will not be allowed out of your house. We will use guards if needed.” Though that would be an extreme measure if a person with COVID-19 refused to cooperate with isolation, Kentucky did place guards on the home of a man who tested positive and refused to stay in his home.
Martin said these strong measures are needed. “If this affects 10% of Scioto County, over 1,000 will require hospitalization and oxygen. 350 will require vents. We don’t have 350 vents. We can’t have everybody get sick at once. We need to social distance and slow this down.”
Fact: Measures are also being taken to protect healthcare workers. They are being screened for fever and are instructed to gown up and put on protective gear when working with suspected COVID-19 patients. But he said a shortage of protective gear is concerning. “That’s why all elective surgeries have been canceled. If they go down, who’s going to take care of us?”
Martin also said people should stay calm. “Don’t panic if you have the sniffles. If you look at the map right now, Appalachia is pretty safe. Is that because we don’t travel as much? Maybe.”