Recently updated on October 25th, 2022 at 11:32 am
Right now, the United States is making rapid advances on Covid-19 tests as two at-home tests for asymptomatic Covid gained. The difference between last year and this year is immense.
Still, you may find yourself needing a test for Covid-19. If you work a public-facing job and feel under the weather, you must get tested as soon as possible.
Even with widespread vaccination, testing is the only way to stop the spread. Many people still have questions about where to find their closest testing location.
Read on to learn how to find a Covid-19 test in your area and when you should get tested.
Should I Get a Covid Test?
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You’re a bartender, and you serve drinks to countless maskless strangers throughout your workday. You wake up and notice your body is sore. That’s nothing too strange because bartending is physical labor.
You also notice you’re fatigued, and you’re running a slight fever. What now? Pre-Covid, you’d probably gut out a shift and see if your symptoms got worse.
During the Covid-era, all symptoms warrant caution. Should you get a Covid test, though?
1. Common Covid-19 Symptoms
Not every illness you experience is Covid-19, though there are some hallmark symptoms. Because the symptoms are similar to other ailments, it’s hard to know whether you should seek a test.
Not to mention the possible financial ramifications you face for calling off work and staying off until you receive your test results. You should seek testing if you experience the following symptoms.
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Severe headache
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste and smell
2. Other Testing Circumstances
Not all symptoms require a Covid test. Most people experiencing mild symptoms can recover at home with plenty of rest. That’s not possible for many people. You might need an official diagnosis to access sick leave.
Search for nearby test locations in the following circumstances:
- Your symptoms are mild but you need a diagnosis
- You’ve been in close contact with a confirmed Covid case
- Contact tracer notification
- You’re asymptomatic but have been exposed
Where to Get Covid Test
Image Source: nbcnews.com
If you’re experiencing possible Covid symptoms, the first thing to do is contact your primary care physician. Your PCP will more than likely offer a telehealth consultation.
After they virtually examine your symptoms, they’ll refer you to a local Covid testing site where you’ll be swabbed.
That doesn’t work for everyone. Many people don’t have access to health insurance or a PCP. The lack of health insurance shouldn’t determine whether you get tested.
If you’re experiencing symptoms but don’t have a PCP, the recommended protocol is to quarantine and monitor your symptoms. Unfortunately, that’s not good enough for people who can’t work from home.
Symptoms combined with a lack of health insurance or medical care can be tricky to navigate for testing, but the first thing you should do is internet search “Covid test near me.”
Many outlets offer COVID testing without a physician referral, but they are not walk-in clinics. You must make an appointment for a test.
Exposure to Covid-19 can be a panic-inducing experience. If exposed, it’s vital to remain calm and follow proper protocol. Should a contact tracer contact you, they’ll give instructions on where to get a Covid-19 test.
Exposure without symptoms still requires a test before you return to work or go out into the world. If you’re aware of possible exposure, consult your PCP as soon as possible.
Should you be without a PCP, make an appointment with a local testing facility to be tested as soon as you can.
What Do You Do After You Found a Test
The CDC recommends following quarantine protocol until you receive your testing results. What does this mean?
1. Quarantine Guidelines
If you suspect you have Covid-19 but are waiting for a test, you must go to isolation. This isolation means no contact with other people like your family (if possible), coworkers, friends, and strangers.
Before the United States built an adequate testing infrastructure, Covid test result turnaround took days or weeks. These days, the average time for an accurate diagnosis for a test is one to two days.
Quarantine until you receive your results. Should you test positive, the facility will instruct you on how long you should remain isolated. The CDC rule is ten days after symptoms appeared.
2. Do Your Part
Americans have, for the most part, an unhealthy relationship with work. We’ll often work through all sorts of ailments and illnesses because we have to.
Though paid sick leave access increased during this pandemic, it’s still possible you don’t have it. You may face pressure if you work in the volume-based hospitality industry.
Do not go to work if you’re symptomatic or if exposed to Covid-19. You may face immense pressure or threats from your superiors. Remember, the law is on your side.
Stay clear of others until you receive your results. It’s the only way to stop the spread.
Getting a Test for Covid
Everyone experienced this past year’s challenges. The US has, however, made rapid advances in testing and tracking capabilities. If you suspect you’ve contracted Covid, it’s important to isolate.
Should you need an official diagnosis, getting a test for Covid isn’t the challenge it once was.
Contact your PCP for instruction if possible. If you don’t have health insurance, find the closest testing facility and make an appointment. There is local testing available for everyone who needs it.
For more COVID information, make sure to check out the rest of our page.