PHOENIX – Anyone who believes that they are exposed to COVID-19 and may be infected will immediately qualify for testing in Arizona.
The news came from a blog post by Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Christ’s Way.
“Today, we issue updated standing orders, extending testing criteria to anyone who thinks they have been exposed and can be infected with COVID-19,” the post wrote. “Previously, this order was limited to high-risk individuals and those who had certain symptoms.”
Dr. Christ said the change occurred when testing capacity in hospitals, private medical laboratories, universities and other health care facilities had increased.
Today, we issue updated standing orders, extending testing criteria to anyone who thinks they have been exposed and can be infected # COVID19. Previously, this order was limited to high-risk individuals and those who had symptoms. https://t.co/9ivQeLsAqB
– AZ Ministry of Health (@AZDHS) April 23, 2020
The countdown has begun when state officials consider their options when it comes to opening up the economy.
Lost criteria from the process that used to be very limited.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t breathe, so that’s when I really woke up this virus when it happened because if I felt like breathing through a straw,” Matt Newey said.
Newey continues to recover from coronavirus this week.
The 23-year-old tested positive in mid-March after a ski trip in Colorado with four friends.
He returned home with a strange feeling and happened to have an appointment with a doctor a few days later.
He had a fever at the time, tested negative for flu, that’s when his doctor tested him for coronavirus.
“Twenty-four hours later I got this call from my doctor and he told me I was positive COVID-19,” said Newey who immediately took action to notify friends and family who had been contacted. “This shows how important contact testing and tracking is because I can immediately begin to track contacts of all my friends. I was really worried because I came home from Colorado and hugged my parents and it turned out I was infected all the time. “
It took five days before all friends from a ski trip could be tested.
Many refused because of lack of symptoms and the fact that they were not included in the vulnerable category.
“Finally all four of my other friends were tested positive for the virus,” Newey said. Newey said fortunately his parents returned negative.
As the state of Arizona announced the expansion of testing for those who have no symptoms.
Newey said this was important because it forced him to immediately change his habits.
“If you don’t know you’re infected and don’t practice the necessary precautions, you can easily spread it,” Newey said.
“We need to be ready to open up and we need testing to assess risk,” said Dr. Paul Keim.
Infectious Disease Specialists and Co Director of TGen North Dr. Paul Keim said the increase in tests would guide the country when lifting locks.
If a small group is found, they can be reduced quickly.
“In certain cases we might not want to lock up, we want to keep those communities very carefully controlled,” Keim said.
Starting immediately, anyone who thinks they have been exposed to or can be infected with COVID-19 can get tested.
This new order came when the supply of testing in hospitals, private medical laboratories, universities and other health care facilities had increased.
Patients out there who are looking for tests are advised to visit their primary care doctor who can refer them to the appropriate testing facility.
“[U]Until now, the limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and inventory collection of tests, such as nasal swabs and viral transportation media, has been a significant barrier to increased testing, “Dr. Christ wrote.
“The good news is that our partners have indicated that they can now obtain the supplies needed to carry out additional testing because the supply chain is open,” he continued.
Dr Christ said they told laboratories across the state to update their criteria for testing patients for the virus if they had enough testing supplies and PPE to do so.
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