CDC guidelines prioritizes which patients get tested for COVID-19

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Thursday, March 26, 2020
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

(Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Getting tested for the coronavirus is difficult for most people who are barely showing symptoms, but it could become more difficult with the new guidelines set by the CDC.

The CDC is now prioritizing testing for people who fall under one of three categories.

The biggest change? The CDC now ranks sick critical infrastructure workers as a priority 3 level. This includes people working in the nuclear and chemical industries.

Jessica Burnside is self quarantined at home.

“I came down with a fever and my throat got worse and I had a dry cough and then I started to lose my sense of smell and taste," Burnside said.

But she can't get tested for COVID-19. A doctor told her that she was denied a test.

“She said you are on the cuff of being tested but like your other doctor said because you are young and healthy you will make a full recovery there is no reason to test you. I was blown away," Burnside said.

The CDC's new guidelines prioritizes patients by their age and their job to determine who gets tested first.

These new guidelines for COVID-19 testing come the same day the Department of Homeland Security updated guidance on the critical infrastructure workforce.

Priority One
Hospitalized patients and symptomatic healthcare workers

Priority Two
Patients with symptoms who are in nursing homes or over the age of 65 or have underlying conditions. First responders are also in this category.

Priority 3
Includes critical infrastructure workers with symptoms. Not included: young adults and children.

"I have a three-year-old little boy who has asthma. And if he were to contract COVID-19, he could possibly die. You know, that's my biggest concern," Burnside said.

There is some wiggle room for testing such as individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms but it appears people like Burnside will have to fight to get tested until there are more available.

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