COVID testing, winter weather and the delta variant: When should you get tested?

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With the delta variant on the rise and the colder months around the corner, healthcare professionals are preparing for a steady stream of COVID testing. But who should be getting tested, when and how often?

Dr. Joseph Allen, the regional medical director with Premier Health, said that will depend on the symptoms, heath history, and environment of those considering getting tested.

“It’s going to vary from individual to individual based on a lot of different details and circumstances.”

One of those circumstances is whether or not you’ve received COVID-19 immunizations.

“You can kind of take into account that if you’ve been vaccinated and you have a close exposure and you have no symptoms — I wouldn’t worry about getting tested,” said Allen.

He said the same may apply if you have been vaccinated and have not been exposed to the virus, even you think you may have some symptoms. This is because some other factors may be at play, such as allergies. But even with nearly half of Ohioans are fully vaccinated, professionals are preparing for an increase in testing demand in the coming months.

“The difficulty in testing is actually going to be this winter when we have patients presenting with symptoms and [the question] is it the flu, or is it COVID?” explained Dr. Patrick Lytle, vice president of clinical outcomes for Kettering Health.

But professional say if you truly feel unsure of your symptoms, it’s better to err on the side of caution to keep yourself and your community safe — even if you are vaccinated.

I don’t want everybody to assume every little sniffle is COVID,” said Allen, “but at the same time, I don’t want them to think, ‘Oh, it’s COVID, it’s nothing. I don’t need to get tested.”

Connie Palakodeti, territory clinical leader for The Little Clinic pharmacies added, “If testing is needed for COVID-like symptoms and they’re feeling ill, that person obviously should quarantine, and test as soon as their symptoms arise… regardless of their vaccination status.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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