How regularly should you get tested for COVID-19?


Have you wondered what the COVID-19 nasal swab test is like?

If you’ve seen the test on social media, some people have described experiencing degrees of mild discomfort to extreme anguish.

While Americans continue to get tested, 48% of them say they are anxious about contracting COVID-19, Health reports.

The United States is currently at the focal point of a third wave of the pandemic. As cases rise, the nation set a new single-day record on October 29, with 83,757 new cases.

You may be wondering how often you should be getting a COVID-19 test?

“The availability of testing does seem to have improved,” Suzanne Pham, MD, medical director of the COVID-19 response team at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said. “Whether or not supplies will last as long as they need to, I do have worries about that.”

Pham shared that medical centers, labs, and hospitals are unable to handle unlimited testing.

Despite steps the US has taken to better prepare itself for another onslaught of cases, hospitals, labs, and medical centers are still not at a point where they can handle unlimited testing.

“If someone’s at an increased risk for severe illness or has close contact with someone who’s at an increased risk for severe illness, I think getting tested regularly is smart,” Dr. Pham said. “For those who are merely worried but don’t have a history of contact with anyone of concern and aren’t at an increased risk of severe illness, regular testing could strain the system and may take away the ability to test those who truly need it.”

The doctor said that even though there have been improvements in testing, it is not a perfect screening.

“The benefit of a rapid test is, if you’re positive, you know pretty quickly,” Dr. Pham said. “The downside of a rapid test, is if you’re negative, you don’t know for sure if you’re truly negative.”

Pham added that testing would soon be normalized, and getting a COVID-19 test will soon be accessible as getting a pregnancy one.

When you get tested regularly, that is only a part of preventing the spread of the deadly virus. Experts say essential things to do is wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

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