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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Hospitals work off limited COVID testing kits

As COVID-19 test kits are in short supply around the country, and more people come to clinics to get tested, we wanted to know how to health care determine who is sent home to monitor symptoms and who gets tested.

“There are days where I start the clinic were, we saw a 145 patients the week before last in this clinic just at one setting and we start the day with just 20 testing swabs,” says Dr. James Fletcher, a physician with St. Bernards Hospital. “So, you’re really triaging down to who can self-quarantine at home and keep the community safe and who has to be swabbed. The CDC has different priority levels and for most of the time we have been standard priority one testing is patients who are patients being admitted to the hospital and symptomatic health care workers with patient contact.”

So far in Arkansas over 2,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 with over 19,000 being negative and almost 1,400 being positive.

Hospitals across the country are struggling with who gets tested.

Some hospitals in Northeast Arkansas are asking people with no underlining health issues or compromised immune system with few symptoms to self-quarantine at home and monitor their symptoms before seeing a doctor.

“If you go to a birthday party which you shouldn’t, but you come in contact with someone with COVID and you want to get tested but aren’t showing any symptoms we might send you home to monitor yourself and then come back if you have symptoms to get tested.” Says Ty Jones, Director of Marketing for NEA Baptist.

If you have an underlining health issue or compromised immune system, doctors say it is important that you call your health care provider and get tested immediately.


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