Louisiana Department of Health Provides Guidance on COVID-19 Testing

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While demand for COVID-19 testing spikes and rapid testing continues to be rare, the Louisiana Department of Health has shared recommendations for people who cannot be tested.

In a Jan. 2 update, LDH reported that 1,014 patients had been hospitalized with coronavirus statewide. Of these, 76% were not up to date with their vaccination.

As of Dec. 31, the LDH has reported 15,358 new cases in the state out of 48,816 tests.

The LDH announced in a press release that it was working to make testing more accessible.

When COVID-19 tests are widely available, the LDH recommends testing people with symptoms and those who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

LDH stressed that testing alone is not a strategy for staying safe and protecting others from Omicron and provides the following recommendations for people who cannot be tested:

People with COVID-like symptoms:

Most people have mild illness and can recover at home. If you are ill:

  • Stay at home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical attention. Do not leave your home for at least 5 days, except for treatment. If you do not have a fever and have no symptoms or your symptoms go away, you can leave the house after 5 days, but you must wear a properly fitted mask when around other people for 5 days. additional.
  • Take care. Rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
  • If you have an emergency warning sign (difficulty breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake up or stay awake; pale, gray or blue skin, lips or nail beds) consult the emergency room immediately.
  • Keep in touch with your doctor. Older patients and people with underlying health conditions or who are immunocompromised should contact their doctor early in any illness, however mild.
  • Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

People who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19:

The recommendation to test after exposure is to allow people who test positive to self-isolate quickly and avoid further spread. Testing is a snapshot in time, and testing negative after exposure doesn’t mean you won’t test positive later. People who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 should follow the most recent quarantine guidelines below, regardless of the result of a negative test or in the event that they cannot access a test.

If you:

Have received a booster, OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the past 6 months, OR completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine within the past 2 months, you do not need to stay at home, but you should:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you do develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.

If you:

You completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than 6 months ago and have not received a booster, OR you completed the primary series of J&J more than 2 months ago and have not received a booster. reminder, OR you are not vaccinated, then you must:

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

If you do develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.

You can find the locations and times of the testing sites at ldh.la.gov/covidtesting or you can call 211 to find a site near you.

Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself against hospitalization. You can find out more about vaccination sites near you by calling the Louisiana Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774. You can also find a vaccine site online at ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.


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