Why isn’t everyone being tested for coronavirus? Johnson County’s health director explains

Tracking Coronavirus

OLATHE, Kan. — It’s common question, especially in Kansas: Why aren’t more tests being performed to track coronavirus?

The state has said low-risk patients with symptoms are being advised to self-isolate and call their doctor.

Not everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, like a dry cough or fever, will be tested.

“It’s not your typical model of test and treat — that’s not what we’re doing here,” Dr. Sanmi Areola, the Johnson County, Kansas, health director.

A concerned FOX4 viewer recently received a letter from a hospital in Kansas.

It states: “Based on the guidelines provided by Kansas Dept. of Health, you do not meet criteria to test for coronavirus at this time. It is suspected that your symptoms may be attributed to an inception by coronavirus.”

“Everyone will not be tested,” Areola said. “Everyone that is symptomatic will not be tested.”

He said it’s because we don’t have the resources, and it’s not absolutely necessary.

The steps to treat coronavirus aren’t going to be different whether you’re tested or not.

However, if you have more serious symptoms and require hospitalization, Areola said that’s a different story.

“Because of the shortage in resources, we’ve had to focus tests to the high-risk group,” Areola said. “However, we are working hard to get additional resource for testing.”

Areola said testing is still essential to understand how coronavirus is affecting our community and stopping its spread.

The latest total number or COVID-19 cases in Kansas is now at 168, including three deaths, as of Thursday afternoon. Johnson County has the most cases with 59, including one death.

Since not everyone will be tested, that number of positive cases reported is likely higher.

Areola stressed the importance of taking the necessary precautions.

“People should not wait to be tested to take the steps that we’re advising them to,” he said.

It’s best to stay safe, stay strong, stay home and stay healthy.

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