Ohio Dept. of Health releases new guidelines for COVID-19 testing priority


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Health has released new guidelines on which patients receive priority to get tested for COVID-19.

Dr. Amy Acton says the state still does not have enough testing, but that Ohio is in a position to broaden who is in the top priority groups to get tested.

She says the highest priority group includes people who are hospitalized and health care workers showing symptoms.

The second priority group includes people showing symptoms who live in long-term care facilities, who are first responders and critical infrastructure workers, or who are age 65 and over. This also includes those with underlying health conditions.

The state has also created a “Priority 2A” group that includes patients and staff members of long-term care facilities who are not showing symptoms.

Dr. Acton says the third priority group for testing includes anyone else showing symptoms, and people with mild symptoms who live in areas with a high concentration of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

She believes the goal is about catching cases early to prevent the worst case scenario for more patients.

“Not only will we decrease the spread of the virus, but we’ll also be watching you and checking in with you and seeing if you’re taking any turns for the worse. Our biggest thought is, how can we prevent people from taking, usually, that two-week turn for the worse?” she said.

The governor also announced he is asking health care providers to reassess any procedures that were delayed due to the order issued last month stopping elective surgeries.

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