COVID-19 Testing To Be More Widely Available

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Chattanooga and Hamilton County Medical Society, Erlanger Hospital, CHI Memorial and Parkridge Health System released a joint statement on COVID-19 Situation in Hamilton County:

"In the next few days, COVID-19 testing should become more widely available as testing labs, including LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, expand their testing capability. In addition, hospitals are working to develop more community testing sites. Testing must currently be done at a health care facility, not at the testing labs themselves.

"Similar to testing for other infectious diseases, such as the flu, the Coronavirus test is not available to the general public on request. Individuals will need an evaluation by their health care provider, urgent care center, or emergency room before a test is ordered.

"In the meantime, if you are experiencing mild symptoms please self-quarantine at home – and that means staying at home and maintaining distance from other family members who aren’t experiencing symptoms.

"If you have a fever greater than 100.4 degrees and respiratory symptoms, call your normal health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the closest urgent care center. Please call the facility before arriving in case of special protocols. Many medical practices are rapidly developing protocols to handle the expected influx of patients.

"Individuals who are elderly and/or frail, are encouraged to call to reschedule any routine or non-urgent visits for at least four weeks. In addition, please stay at home and avoid crowds.

"Everyone in the health care community is working as fast as possible to address this situation, which is complicated by the closure of schools and the need for parents to find alternative resources for their children. For instance, the Medical Society will be opening a play room for employee’s children next week to allow them to continue working.

"It is hard to be patient when you are concerned about your health. Medical practices, hospitals, and other health care providers are ramping up as quickly as possible and working to utilize all available resources." 


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