Why you should wait to get tested for coronavirus

Why you should wait to get tested for coronavirus
JP Davis is one of many people who tested positive for COVID-19 when they weren't expecting it.
JP Davis is one of many people who tested positive for COVID-19 when they weren't expecting it. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Doctors recommend waiting five to seven in quarantine before getting a COVID-19 test because if a potential patient gets tested too early the results can be inconclusive.
Doctors recommend waiting five to seven in quarantine before getting a COVID-19 test because if a potential patient gets tested too early the results can be inconclusive. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
On Oct. 22, Gov. Andy Beshear said at least 800 people are hospitalized with virus-related complications, with 214 patients in an ICU and 105 people on a ventilator.
On Oct. 22, Gov. Andy Beshear said at least 800 people are hospitalized with virus-related complications, with 214 patients in an ICU and 105 people on a ventilator. (Source: WFIE)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Hospitals expect an influx in patients during the winter months because of flu season. But there’s an uncertainty heading into the end of 2020 since many symptoms are similar to coronavirus.

“If you called to get an appointment, which I did many times early on, they would ask have you been exposed or do you have a temperature,” JP Davis said. “If the answer was no to both of those, they weren’t testing you. They wouldn’t give you an appointment.”

Davis said he would get regularly tested because of his job. A few weeks ago he started to feel more congestion, but assumed it was allergies because he didn’t have a fever. His COVID-19 test results said otherwise.

“When the test came back positive, I was very surprised and of course my mind first goes to who did I expose,” Davis said. “Your heart just drops thinking you could’ve exposed somebody and they could’ve gotten sick.”

His doctor instructed him to call anyone who he could have exposed. But when he gave them the news, give specific instructions on when to get tested.

“When I tested positive I was told to contact anybody I had exposed and to ask them to wait five to seven days to get tested because typically the amount of time it takes to show up,” Davis said.

Like any virus, doctors said COVID-19 takes a few days to spread throughout the body. If a potential patient gets tested too early, the results can be inconclusive. Doctors recommend waiting five to seven in quarantine before getting tested.

“My doctor said typically you’re no longer contagious after the tenth day when you first started feeling symptoms which was helpful to me,” Davis said.

As of this week, Louisville hospitals are treating twice as many COVID patients than in September. Baptist Health Louisville is currently treating 50 coronavirus patients, 57 at University of Louisville Hospital, and 70 at Norton Healthcare.

“We’re in a much better position than we were earlier in the year,” U of L Health Chief Medial Officer Dr. Jason Smith said. “I think the most important thing we have going for us is we’ve still maintained that level of readiness since March and April.”

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