If you’re like most people, you can’t wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to end. Fortunately, vaccines are on the rise and cases are dropping; but that doesn’t mean you have to be complacent.
To continue to flatten that curve, it’s more important than ever to identify positive cases of the virus.
Here are six reasons why you might still need a COVID test.
You have symptoms
The most obvious reason to get tested would be if you have any of the classic symptoms. You can probably repeat them from memory now, but this includes fever, cough, chills, body aches, shortness of breath, and loss of taste or smell.
(For a full list of symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.)
You’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive
You should also get tested if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
What does “close contact” mean? According to state guidelines, this means:
- You were within 6 feet of a person who tested positive for the virus for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period.
- You have cared for someone at home who is sick and has tested positive for COVID-19.
- You had direct physical contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 (hugged or kissed them).
- You shared eating or drinking utensils with the person who tested positive for COVID-19.
- The person who tested positive for COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or had respiratory droplets on you.
Your employer may require it
While you don’t have to show a negative test result to return to work after being ill, your employer may require testing at some point.
Utah coronavirus guidelines state that “Because COVID-19 poses a direct threat to the health of others, it is within an employer’s right to administer the COVID-19 test to employees to determine s ‘they have the virus. “
You have an upcoming elective procedure
Now that cases appear to be declining, many hospitals have resumed elective surgeries that were postponed last year.
If you have an upcoming procedure, your doctor or hospital may require a negative COVID test before you arrive. A positive result could delay things for a few days or more, so taking extra precautions ahead of time can save you from having to reprogram.
Since travel restrictions vary by location, you may be required to provide proof of a negative test when you arrive or return from a trip.
Make sure you know in advance the travel conditions for departure and arrival. Covid Clinic has a complete list of global air travel requirements at https://covidclinic.org/travel.
For example, if you are traveling abroad, your country of arrival probably requires proof of a negative test. If you are returning from a foreign country, the CDC requires that you show a negative COVID test no later than three days before your flight departs. Proof of a negative test is also required to travel to Hawaii.
Lucky for you, some test sites offer quick results when you need them right away.
The virus is still there
It’s easy to assume that it’s only because cases have declined that COVID is on the way out. But here’s the truth: the virus is most likely to stay here. At least, that’s what scientists reported in a recent survey conducted by Nature.com.
Before you start to panic about being socially estranged and locked in quarantine indefinitely, there is good news. Much like a cold or flu virus, COVID can simply become another disease that spreads from person to person without causing too much harm.
And as more and more people get vaccinated and immunity increases, it becomes much less of a concern.
“I guess enough people will get it and enough people will get the vaccine to reduce person-to-person transmission,” Paul Duprex, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, told National Geographic. “There will be pockets of people who will not take [the vaccines], there will be localized epidemics, but it will become one of the “regular” coronaviruses. “
WebMD estimates that it may take nine months or more for the population to achieve collective immunity. Until that happens, everyone must do their part to curb the spread – and that includes getting tested if the need arises.
How to get COVID-19 test results fast
If you are planning a vacation or need test results ASAP, Covid Clinic offers accelerated PCR results in as little as a day.
Covid Clinic currently has seven locations in Utah with convenient and safe drive-thru testing, and two more will open soon.
Covid Clinic tests meet worldwide travel restriction requirements and can be reimbursed by your health insurance provider.
To learn more or to find a testing center near you, visit covidclinic.org.
Other stories that might interest you