COVID-19 Testing

Posted by jal333 @jal333, Mar 18, 2020

There may be no answers to my questions, and these may be individual questions, yet, today, March 18, 2020, I have the following questions:
1. Will we be tested if we are asymptomatic in the future to see if we have had Covid19?
2. If I have a temperature over 101, over 24 hours, should I be tested?
3. Do I call my Mayo cardiologist if I have been exposed to Covid19 and want to be tested as a preventative?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

I think you should call your primary physician and cardiologist and follow their instructions.


@mayofeb2020– Boy, these great questions! Unfortunately, the tests are not preventive they are for diagnosing. The only preventive medicine is to follow the CDC's suggestions and stay 6'-8' from people if you can. If you have a temperature at all call your doctor. Do not wait 24 hours! A fever is one of the symptoms. For the future, I hope that we will all be vaccinated and not have to be tested! If you are overly worried please take @mayofebort2020's recommendations. Are you feeling unwell?


@jal333, I second @merpreb's sentiment. These are good questions. Information is changing by the hour, as are the guidelines on who should seek testing and when. This article was just posted on Mayo Clinic's News Network, "What to do if you suspect COVID-19," The story includes a video with Dr. Clayton Cowl, chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine:

But if they develop symptoms, when and how should they seek medical help? Should they get tested?

Dr. Cowl says the first things that you should do are remain at home, drink plenty of fluids and take a fever-reducing medication. If symptoms intensify, call your health care provider, local hospital or clinic.

"It really is important to emphasize that, unless is it a medical emergency, you should not go in to the hospital or visit your health care provider without at least calling first," says Dr. Cowl. "By calling first, you can avoid exposing yourself and others to the virus. And you can help prevent an overflow situation at the medical facility."

The CDC adds that "if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, and you develop symptoms such as a cough, fever and shortness of breath, you should call your health care provider."

Guidelines for testing may change as more is learned about the disease, but the above are the current recommendations and it is important to remember to always call your provider before going in.

@jal333, based on your questions and what the above article and CDC state, if you have symptoms and have had known exposure to someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should call your provider to determine the best next steps. @jal333, @merpreb asked a good question, how are you doing? Are you trying to prepare, or determine what your next steps should be?


@jal333 The other considerations include current high demand and low supply of the Covid-19 tests – most places are rationing to health care workers, people in hospitals and ltc facilities, and lack of capacity to do rests on demand because labs cannot handle them.
Currently, there is no plan for "preventive" testing as there is no real treatment other than palliative care. Similarly, no need to test after the fact until there is a vaccine, when a determination will need to be made whether or not it is advisable to vaccinate people with apparent antibodies.
This will all change over time, I'm sure, but we're realistically talking many months to a year or more.
Has our discussion today helped you? Obviously, if you have symptoms, you should contact your primary care provider for guidance.


This was just posted to facebook, it's an interview with Francis Collins, NIH Director, on Covid19. Interesting, he says we are 8 days out from Italy! Let's come back in 8 days and see if his forecast holds true….

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