San Diego County Health and Human Services announced that they will now be able to conduct testing for the novel coronavirus, which causes respiratory disease COVID-19. The ability to test within San Diego, means that HHSA will no longer have to send all specimens to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), substantially reducing the time it takes for results.
“This is great news for San Diego County and will help with our ongoing efforts to contain COVID-19,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Being able to test locally means that when we have patients under investigation, we can more rapidly remove unneeded restrictions from those without infection. Should someone test positive, we will continue to keep them isolated.”
San Diego's County Public Health Lab will be able to conduct 40 tests in one run. The lab has been certified nationally by the CDC.
The lab expects to provide results to medical professional treating potential cases within 24 to 48 hours. They noted that positive tests will still need to be confirmed by the CDC.
When testing should take place (according to the CDC): when a patient experiences fever, cough or difficulty breathing — after returning from China or other areas with community transmission of Coronavirus disease or who have had known contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
How to protect yourself from Coronavirus and limit its spread:
- Wash your hands often to help protect you from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then was your hands.
- Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
Photo: San Diego County Health and Human Services