CDC guidelines helps determine who is eligible for COVID-19 tests

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GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) -- The nation is facing limited supplies of COVID-19 tests and protective equipment, especially for healthcare workers.

Lack of tests have resulted in some people getting turned away. TJ Samson Regional Health, along with many other hospitals, follow the strict CDC guidelines/screening when it comes to determining who to test. That protocol includes age, known exposure and risk.

Medical professionals say the screening process in place helps preserve tests, keeps healthcare workers from being overly exposed and limit potential exposure to other patients already in the hospital.

"What we can't do is overwhelm our ER's and urgent cares with people with mild symptoms that are not high risk, very unlikely to get sick, that actually don't need emergency, or urgent care at the time, and from taking away from the people that do -- and risking exposing others and exposing themselves," Dr. Eric Fisher, Chief of Medical Staff at TJ Samson Regional Health

He says he believes there needs to be more tests available.

"The more people you have tested, the better you can track the spread the disease, the better you can give the people firm recommendations on what they have going on and hopefully increase our compliance with home quarantine recommendations," said Dr. Fisher, Chief of Medical Staff.

When it comes to turn-around times on test results, Dr. Fisher says it varies based on labs and volume at the time. According to him, they've seen turnaround time from the state be about a day. One of the commercial labs they have worked with is about 5-7 days for results. Another option they're now trying is sending swabs to Kentucky Lab, Solaris, which is about a 12-24 hour turn around time.

"We're doing everything we can and hoping for better options to come available, and exploring all options that may come along," said Dr. Fisher.

If you think you are symptomatic, TJ Samson has a hotline number you should call before coming into the hospital. This will act a screening process to see if you are eligible for a tests. That number is (270) 651-4400.

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