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DHS provides test guide for COVID-19
coronavirus covid-19 test medical doctor

GREEN COUNTY — The Department of Health Services announced that due to a national shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials, the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and the Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory are limiting testing to the highest priority patients and health care workers.

Although both laboratories have significantly increased their capacity for COVID-19 testing, the number of samples being received exceeds daily capacity. Both laboratories will be testing high-priority samples from hospitalized patients and health care workers seven days a week for the foreseeable future. Test requests that do not meet the criteria will be sent to other labs in the state and country for testing. 

With the increased number of COVID-19 cases reported nationally and identified community spread in Wisconsin, health care providers are urged to prioritize testing for hospitalized patients for whom timely diagnosis of COVID-19 is critical. Testing should be prioritized based on clinical criteria. There is no role for testing asymptomatic patients.

Testing is not recommended for people with mild, upper respiratory symptoms, or those with mild illnesses for which they would not normally seek medical care. It is recommended that these individuals self-isolate at home until their symptoms improve. 

Information for healthcare providers on testing guidance and an updated triage form are available on the DHS COVID-19 website. Think about how to  decrease close contacts and crowded environments while COVID-19 is spreading in the community. 

According to DHS, this includes avoiding public places and staying home as much as possible. Those who cannot avoid public spaces should practice social distancing by staying six feet away from other people. Learn about precautions for high risk and elderly individuals.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information, visit the CDC’s website, the DHS website, or the Green County Public Health website and follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter.