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Shortage of COVID-19 Testing Supplies

March 23, 2020

Jefferson Healthcare is experiencing the state-wide effects of a shortage of COVID-19 testing supplies. We follow testing protocols and guidelines from the Department of Health and are unable to test on-demand or asymptomatic individuals.  For individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, it is strongly recommended to stay at home and self-isolate and call the COVID-19 Nurse Consult line for COVID-19 screening.

Additionally, the return of laboratory results for COVID-19 testing has increased from two to three days to over five days, due to the high volumes of state-wide testing.   It is critically important to maintain self-isolation while awaiting test results.  The care team staff will contact all patients tested through Jefferson Healthcare.

Dr. Joe Mattern, chief medical officer for Jefferson Healthcare, recommends the following, “For individuals who are sick (fevers with cough or shortness of breath), isolating at home whether they have tested or not is important. It is ideal to stay at home and isolate for up to 72 hours after they feel well again in particular, no fever.  If someone has tested for COVID-19, then they should be self-isolating at home until they receive results or have been well for 72 hours.”

Dr. Mattern also reinforces how important it is for family and household members of people who are awaiting COVID-19 test results to limit their movement in the community and minimize contacts to essential activities until they have results even if they do not show symptoms.

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