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St. Luke's lays out COVID-19 testing policy

Ryan Juntti
Updated: July 01, 2020 12:52 PM

There has been some confusion over who is able to get tested for COVID-19 after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said Monday anyone who wants a COVID-19 test should get one.  

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St. Luke's Hospital and Essentia Health say anyone who wants a test is able to get one, as long as they meet certain criteria.

St. Luke's says they follow the Minnesota Department of Health's guidelines when determining who should get tested.

Among St. Luke's criteria for COVID-19 testing is anyone who is showing symptoms. The CDC lists possible symptoms of COVID-19 as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Those who aren't showing symptoms are able to get tested if they have known COVID-19 exposure, or live in a long-term care facility.     

St. Luke's Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Sara Lund says right now there aren't enough tests for people who don't meet this criteria, but she is hoping that changes soon.

“Right now, there aren’t recommendations for people who don’t have symptoms, except for those groups of people, so anybody who has symptoms can get tested. Hopefully in the future we’ll have enough testing supplies to test anybody who wants to be tested,” Lund said.

The test consists of a nasal swab, and the results will come back in one to two days. People who get tested are asked to self-isolate at home until they get their results.

Lund wants to reinforce the test only detects the virus the same day the person was tested.

She also wants to stress the importance of people continuing to take proper cautions.

"I would like to reinforce that COVID-19 is not gone. It's not gone away in our community, and so I really want to impress on people to please continue to social distance, please continue to wear masks, please continue to have excellent hand hygiene, please continue to stay home if you're ill," Lund said.

Essentia Health's website says only people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should start an E-visit to request a test. Doctors will then determine whether you need to be tested.  

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Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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