Where Are the Tests? COVID-19 Sidelines Clinicians

What your doctor is reading on Medscape.com:

MARCH 18, 2020 — On Friday, I sat on my couch in the middle of what should have been my operating day, watching President Trump’s address in disbelief.

The President stated that any doctor seeking COVID-19 testing can get it. This is not true.

I was dumbstruck by the irony of the President’s reassurance that testing was readily available for providers like me, while I sat at home in a self-quarantine, unable to get COVID-19 testing to clear me to go back to work.

To be absolutely clear, testing for COVID-19 for healthcare providers is still limited. It’s becoming more available every day and may soon become available to providers at my hospital needing clearance. But there is still limited access at most hospitals, and these delays have set us back.

I’m not alone. In Vacaville, California, delayed testing in the first case of community-transmitted COVID-19 in the United States left over 200 healthcare workers in quarantine.

Testing is currently recommended only for those with a known exposure and symptoms highly suggestive of coronavirus, or for symptomatic, high-risk patients.

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