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When NOT to Seek a Covid Test
December 28, 2021

St. Luke’s University Health Network reminds the public that the Network requires a doctor’s order for Covid-19 tests at its testing sites. Currently, the lines and wait-times at testing sites are hours long.

 

People who are symptomatic and have tested positive using an at-home test should NOT seek a second, confirmatory laboratory test from the Network. (An at-home test that produces a positive result in a symptomatic individual is considered highly accurate, so a second, laboratory test is not necessary to confirm the diagnosis.)

 

People who believe they have been exposed to Covid but are not symptomatic should NOT go to a St. Luke’s hospital emergency department or a St. Luke’s Care Now urgent care location for a Covid test to rule out infection.

 

Additionally, people should NOT go to the hospital emergency department or a St. Luke’s Care Now urgent care location for a Covid test for travel needs.

 

“Our region is experiencing a surge in demand for testing because of the Omicron variant,” said Jeffrey Jahre, MD, St. Luke’s Senior Vice President of Medical & Academic Affairs and Section Chief Emeritus of Infectious Diseases. “We ask for the public’s thoughtful cooperation to ensure our region’s health care resources are available and accessible in a timely manner to those patients with the greatest need.”

 

If you develop a fever and symptoms such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor for medical advice. For St. Luke’s patients, please do one of the following:

  • Call your St. Luke’s Physician Group practice.
  • Download the St. Luke’s app to utilize the video visit feature to connect with a doctor.

For patients without a doctor, please call the St. Luke’s Coronavirus hotline at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 7.

Fully vaccinated and boosted individuals with mild non-progressive Covid symptoms such as a runny nose do not need to go to a hospital emergency department or urgent care center. Individuals experiencing more serious Covid symptoms such as difficulty breathing, sustained high fever, confusion or the inability to maintain adequate hydration should seek medical attention, and for such individuals a visit to a hospital emergency department or urgent care center may be appropriate.

 

Jahre noted that people who go to a hospital emergency department or urgent care location may experience longer wait times because of the ongoing surge in Covid-19 Omicron cases. “We ask people to be respectful to our staff, who are working diligently under very challenging circumstances,” he said.