Florida releases guidance for who should get tested for COVID-19 and when

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health released updated guidelines on who officials say should get tested for COVID-19 and when.

The department said the new guidance is set up to “maximize the benefits of COVID-19 testing in Florida.”

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The guidelines are geared toward prioritizing testing for Floridians at an increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 and minimizing the priority of testing of people who may have been exposed to the virus but do not have symptoms.

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Those at an increased risk are defined as older adults, especially those age 65 and older; individuals with certain medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, heart conditions, and a weakened immune system (immunocompromised); and people who are pregnant or recently pregnant.

“Many individuals with COVID-19 may have no symptoms or a mild illness. If you get symptoms, you should avoid contact with others,” the guidelines read. “A positive COVID-19 test result will not change this recommendation.”

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Here’s who the department recommends should be tested and when:

Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 and who are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

Should get tested for COVID-19 soon after symptom onset.

Should seek early monoclonal antibody or antiviral drug treatment and seek other medical treatment as necessary.

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Individuals with symptoms and who are not at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:

Consider getting tested for COVID-19 soon after symptom onset.

Seek medical treatment only as necessary.

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Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but have no symptoms:

COVID-19 testing is unlikely to have any clinical benefits.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.