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Lexington doctors: Don’t go to the ER for COVID tests unless you have serious symptoms

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 11:53 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Public health officials are encouraging everyone who can to get tested for COVID-19.

However, doctors from multiple Lexington hospitals talked to us Friday about a trend they’ve seen in recent weeks, where people who don’t have symptoms, or who have very mild symptoms, are coming to emergency rooms looking for COVID tests.

They say that is filling up ERs that are needed for people who are legitimately sick with the disease, or who have other issues. They want to remind people that there are a variety of free testing locations in Lexington.

Right now, if you are able to treat your symptoms at home, or if you think you’ve just been exposed, you should go to one of those other sites to be tested for COVID.

They did reiterate if you’re having trouble breathing, or other severe symptoms then you shouldn’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. They don’t wanna keep away anyone who really needs help.

“We want to be clear, if you are symptomatic and you’re short of breath or you were having any of the other symptoms that we can talk about, you should be seen by a provider,” said Colleen Swartz, UK Healthcare. “And if your symptoms are severe and certainly can, [the] emergency department is the appropriate venue. If you were just wondering if you were COVID positive because you may or may not have had an exposure, we have a good alternative for testing in the community.”

One of the things the doctors said Friday was that just because you’ve had COVID-19 previously, that doesn’t mean you can’t get sick again.

They said it looks like there’s about a three-month window of protection from being previously sick, but after that, it’s possible to get the illness again.

So, people shouldn’t be acting like they are immune because they are seeing people who are getting reinfected.

There are at least half a dozen locations to get a free COVID test in Lexington.

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