JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The Florida Department of Health released updated COVID-19 testing guidelines on Thursday.
Department of health guidelines emphasize testing for people at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
Groups at increased risk for serious illnesses caused by COVID-19 include:
- Individuals with certain medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and a weakened immune system.
According to the Department of Health, individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 that are within increased risk for serious illness of the disease:
Should be tested for COVID-19 soon after symptoms appear.
Should seek early treatment with monoclonal antibody or antiviral drug and seek other medical treatment if necessary.
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As for people with symptoms who are not at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19, the health department says they should:
Consider getting tested for COVID-19 soon after symptoms appear.
Seek medical treatment only if necessary.
And the health department said that “COVID-19 testing is unlikely to have any clinical benefit for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms. “
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said earlier in the week that the state would release updated testing guidelines, and state surgeon general Dr Joseph Ladapo had said the health department would recommend people to forgo testing unless it is what he considers “high value” COVID-19 tests – tests that may alter diagnostic results. For example, frequent testing on the elderly is what he considers to be very valuable tests, but mandatory testing for schools or businesses for people without symptoms is not.
“Many people with COVID-19 may not have any symptoms or have mild illness,” the health department said in a press release on Wednesday announcing the testing guidelines. “If you have symptoms, you should avoid contact with others. A positive COVID-19 test result will not change this recommendation. “
Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the reasons for testing include whether you have symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19, for screening at work or school, or before a trip.
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