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New Covid-19 testing guide hopes to end confusion, false negatives

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:44 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:47 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials at Roper St. Francis Healthcare say people are testing for COVID-19 at the wrong times and places.

A new testing guide from the hospital hopes to change that.

The COVID-19 Concern Guide (below) from Roper St. Francis shows when the right time to get tested is and how to do it.

Covid-19 Concern
Covid-19 Concern(Provided)

As Omicron sweeps through the Lowcountry and South Carolina reaches record-breaking highs, officials with Roper St. Francis say they hope people will follow proper protocol to avoid crowding the ER and getting false negatives from testing too early.

“Everybody knows the ED is always around. That’s probably not the best place for somebody who’s just wondering I had covid I’m better,” says Dr. Robert Oliverio with Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “[People ask] ‘Should I get a test and go back to work?’ We’re seeing that in the emergency department.”

And it’s not just a problem of going to the wrong place, Oliverio says, but going at the wrong time, before the full incubation period. This “cheat sheet” of sorts is the ultimate guide for answering the question of whether you have COVID-19.

“You don’t need an ER doc with oxygen, IV fluids and machines to keep you alive to answer that question,” says Oliverio. “There’s a lot of resources to answer a pretty simple question.”

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