State unveils new guidelines for COVID-19 priority testing

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Monday, the state unveiled new guidelines for prioritizing those who will be tested for coronavirus. Dr. Amy Acton says she believes this will get the entire state on the same page.

Right now, more than six thousand coronavirus tests are being conducted each day in Ohio, a big jump from the three to four thousand daily tests reported just one week ago. While it’s still not enough to get every Ohio citizen tested, Dr. Acton and Governor Mike DeWine say the situation is getting much better.

Since a little more than 1 percent of the state population has been tested, Dr. Acton says the state must prioritize who gets those tests.

Priority 1 remains designated for people who are hospitalized, and also healthcare workers. Dr. Acton says that has not changed, as the state will test the sickest people and the medical professionals caring for them.

Priority 2 includes symptomatic people in the following categories:

  • People living in longterm care or congregate living facilities
  • First responders & other critical workers
  • People age 65 and older
  • People with underlying health conditions

Ohioans without symptoms who are residents or staff directly exposed during an outbreak at a long-term care facility or congregate living settings are also included in Priority 2, as are Ohioans who are designated by public health officials to evaluate/manage community outbreaks.

Dr. Acton said that at one time, congregate settings only included places like group homes, homeless shelters, jails, and nursing facilities. But she says that’s now changing as the impact of the virus changes.

Level 3 for testing includes people with or without symptoms who are getting essential surgeries or medical procedures.

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