Can't get tested? St. Joseph County health officials explain why
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- St. Joseph County Health Department officials announced two more people in the county have tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday.
This brings the county’s total confirmed cases to three and health officials say they are still waiting on the results of about 600 more test kits.
They’re not releasing any of the individual’s personal information who tested positive. Both individuals are remaining in isolation and that neither of them has required hospitalization.
Officials discussed the findings via video conference Wednesday and reiterated the protocol for COVID-19 testing.
“We’re following the CDC’s guidelines very closely; I think St. Joe and the South Bend Clinic are doing the same that requires both exposure and symptoms to simulate the test,” Dr. Jason Marker said, a local physician and Vice President for the St. Joe County Board of Health. “There is physician discretion involved in that tree but if you do not have exposure, if you only have symptoms, that does not necessarily require a test.”
The CDC is recommending only individuals who’ve been exposed to the virus and have symptoms should get tested.
Marker explains that exposure means having had contact with a person undergoing testing, or who has had a positive test, or coming from a place where there’s been pandemic activity.
If you think you fall under the criteria to get tested there are a few local hotlines you can call. You do need to be screened before you can get tested.
- South Bend Clinic Hotline 574-307-6870
- Mon. - Fri. 8:00 A.M.- 8:00 P.M.
- Sat. and Sun. 9:00 A.M.- 5:00 P.M.
- Beacon Health Hotline 855-523-2225
- Everyday 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
- Call 211 at any time for general questions
In Michiana, the South Bend Clinic currently has a drive through testing site set up for those who are approved for testing.
Dr. Marker says it’s important for everyone to understand that right now, resources are limited and not everyone can or should be tested for covid-19.
“I understand the patient frustration it’s been very acute in my own practice and in the community,” Marker said. “It comes from a place of lack of education about the testing algorithm and about the availability of tests. If we all had 100 tests in our office we would happily be testing everybody.”
It’s also important to isolate yourself from your family or others in your home if you think you have the coronavirus. Do not go to the hospital as this only increases the risk of infecting others.