The original item was published from March 25, 2020 5:56 PM to March 26, 2020 12:51 PM
As availability of testing for coronavirus begins to improve, Loudoun County health officials say it is important that these tests be available to those at highest risk of complications from infection and those essential to maintaining health care delivery and services and public safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the following people outside the hospital setting who have symptoms consistent with coronavirus be prioritized for testing:
- Health care workers.
- Patients in long-term care facilities.
- Patients 65 years of age and older.
- Patients with underlying high risk medical conditions.
- First responders.
It is important to note that individual doctors’ offices and the operators of drive-thru testing services may use varying criteria. Therefore, before visiting any testing site, the health department recommends that patients have a doctor’s order for COVID-19 testing and to contact the service provider prior to visiting the site for instructions.
If you are not in one of the priority groups listed above or in a priority group listed by your doctor’s office or a drive-through testing service, at this time the Loudoun County Health Department recommends that you do not request testing, even if sick, so those at higher risk are able to be screened. “We continue to recommend that ill people contact their doctor if they believe they need to be evaluated, and that they isolate themselves at home and apart from family until better. Additionally, anyone with significant health issues should seek medical care immediately,” said Loudoun County Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend.
On March 19, 2020, Northern Virginia public health officials announced there was evidence of community transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus in parts of the region. Local governments in Northern Virginia had already taken a number of actions to promote social distancing and protect those at increased risk for severe illness. Additionally, on March 23, 2020, Governor Northam issued an executive order on social distancing.
All individuals are urged to:
- Wash hands frequently;
- Stay home when sick;
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick;
- Cover coughs and sneezes;
- Avoid crowded areas and non-essential travel if you are over age 65 or have a chronic medical condition; and
- Follow local government social distancing guidance. Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.
Infectious diseases do not respect boundaries. Each individual is a critical part of the community mitigation strategy, in addition to government action at the local, state and federal levels.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
- Visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
- Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19.
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.
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