East County News Service
March 25, 2020 (San Diego) – With COVID-19 testing availability limited and 297 local cases confirmed, County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten is advising people who experience mild to moderate symptoms of possible COVID-19 to stay at home for at least seven days after symptoms appear and three days after respiratory symptoms have improved (such as cough and shortness of breath) and fever is completely gone, without the use of fever-reducing medications
“Testing for COVID-19 is still limited, so we are prioritizing people who need it most,” says Dr. Wooten, adding that around 80% of those who get the disease will have only mild to moderate symptoms and does not need to be tested at this time.
COVID-19 tests are being considered for people who have a fever and cough, as well as people who:
- Have a lower respiratory illness and no other potential cause, especially if they are hospitalized
- Live in a senior living facility, including nursing facilities or assisted living facilities
- Are elderly
- Live in congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, or
- Those who are health care workers, first responders and other emergency workers
Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases who develop symptoms are likely to be positive for the disease as well. Testing is not required if the patient is not severely ill, not in a priority population, or not at high risk for complications.
“Testing people who have mild or moderate symptoms, but are not at higher risk of severe complications depletes testing resources and scarce personal protective equipment and exposes other patients and health care personnel to COVID-19,” Wooten said, adding that this recommendation might change when testing is more widely available.
“We all should we doing everything we can to flatten the curve since this is a life-saving action,” Wooten said.
If you have questions about COVID-19 testing, please talk to your healthcare provider or call 2-1-1 to talk to a public health nurse.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 297 today, 55 more than yesterday. No additional deaths were reported.
Of the 297 cases, 277 were San Diego County residents and 20 were non-residents. Starting Thursday, the non-residents will be dropped from the table to conform with the practices of other health departments across the state. The number of cases connected to the federal quarantine is no longer included in the County’s total.
For more information, visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.