Testing kits for COVID-19 are available locally but require a doctors note as well as meet the criteria of symptoms. (Special to Branson Globe)
By Brenda Meadows
Recent positive COVID-19 tests of two Greene County residents in Springfield have Taney County residents in Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard stated, through a virtual briefing, that one of them has already been released.
The news of nearby residents and a Taney County individual, area residents have voiced concerns the lack of testing kits available. They want to know who has the tests available.
“We do have a supply of testing kits for folks who meet the criteria of symptoms and have a doctor’s note,” said Coxhealth Communications Manager Brandei Clifton.
The person that tested positive on March 17 is said to have contracted COVID-10 while with a group of international travelers in the Ozarks on the weekend of March 6.
“We know this is a travel associated case and the individual and household self quarantined after returning to our area,” said Director, PIO, Taney County Health Department. “In order to protect the individuals privacy, we are not releasing age or gender. Because the individual self quarantined, there is little risk of further exposure regarding this case of COVID-19. Healthcare partners have recently collaborated to increase testing options through a Mobile Testing Site that began testing individuals today (March 23).”
Again, to be tested, a physician's referral and order is required to be tested at this site.
“Anyone that is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 can use a CoxHealth Virtual Visit to discuss with a physician. These are free using the code COVID,” Marshall said.
“As far as symptoms and how long it takes to overcome,” Clifton said. “It varies by person but here is a good set of standards from the Center for Disease Control:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a ‘bot’ named Clara to give proper information to people that suspect they have the virus. With this information, they can decide what to do if they have potential symptoms. The “coronavirus self-checker” was created in partnership with CDC Foundation and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service.
This system, not for diagnosis or treatment, is only for people who are in the United States.
There are also laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC while medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers. All of these tests are Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panels, that can provide results in 4 to 6 hours.
Symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure, based on an incubation period by MERS-CoV viruses, are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish lips or face.
*This list is not all inclusive. Consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
For more information go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html or taneycohealth.org.