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Immediate care or treat at home? What to know before the COVID panic

WAVE 3 News learned when community members should and shouldn’t get tested or go to the hospital.
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 12:18 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 12:46 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - To test or not to test… and where? That seems to be the true question after COVID cases reportedly doubled overnight in Louisville. WAVE 3 News learned when community members should and shouldn’t get tested or go to the hospital.

With any slight cough, itchy throat or sneeze, some are ready to proclaim COVID or rush to already filled testing sites and hospitals for treatment. However, medical experts say you may be able to put on the brakes.

Norton Healthcare said testing is best at least five days after COVID-19 exposure, if you are not up to date on vaccines or are not vaccinated, and have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

If you are vaccinated, have mild symptoms, are not high risk, and have been exposed to COVID, you can contact your primary care provider to determine if you need to be seen.

If you are high risk or have severe symptoms, then you need to go to immediate care or prompt care.

Emergency care is necessary if you have conditions like chest pain, or shortness of breath, or other life-threatening symptoms.

Norton Immediate Care Centers and health care provider offices are seeing increased demand for services, and not just from people who need COVID-19 tests.

If you have not been vaccinated within the past six months and don’t have the booster, or if you’re not vaccinated at all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you get a COVID-19 test five days after exposure. However, given proper quarantining and masking, if you have no symptoms a COVID-19 test likely is not necessary.

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