COVID-19 testing is available at Penn Highlands Healthcare for patients who have physician orders for the testing, but not everyone needs to be tested, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.
Who needs to be tested? According to the CDC, those who need testing are those in close contact with someone with COVID-19, a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 or a person who develops symptoms of COVID-19, fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Their first step, the CDC said, is to “call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.”
According to the experts at Penn Highlands Healthcare, care for COVID-19 is similar to every other illness: stay home, isolate oneself from others, drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter medications to help symptoms. The course of action will not change with a positive test result.
Should a patient have concerns, he or she may call their primary care provider/family doctor for advice. Anyone without a primary care provider/family doctor, PCP, can call the PHH Call Center at 814-375-6644 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, for verbal screening and advice. From that call, should there be a need, a provider will order a test for the patient.
Tests are given at Penn Highlands QCare locations in Brookville, Emporium, Clearfield, DuBois, Philipsburg, Punxsutawney, Ridgway and St. Marys, and the QuickLab located on the Penn Highlands Huntingdon campus. No tests will be given to walk-ins without a physician order.
For those who have symptoms of any illness, the warning signs that need urgent medical attention are:
• Fast or troubled breathing or shortness of breath;
• Bluish or gray skin color in children;
• Not drinking enough liquids, especially in children;
• Severe or persistent vomiting;
• Not waking up or interacting, especially in children.
For more information about COVID-19, go to www.phhealthcare.org/coronavirus.