GREENSBORO, N.C. — COVID-19 tests are hard to find right now. Even if you can find a test, some people have reported long wait times for results.
On this 2 Your Well-Being, Dr. Laura Murray, Cone Health's Medical Area Group Medical Director, answers some of the top questions about COVID-19 testing.
Where to find a test
Cone Health has several testing sites throughout the Triad. You can sign up for testing here.
Dr. Murray said you can typically expect results within 1-2 days because of the high demand for testing right now. She said Cone Health currently offers PCR tests.
With several testing options, Dr. Murray stressed people should not go to the emergency room to get tested.
"We want to reserve the emergency room for sick people, so they can be recognized as being sick or having emergency medical conditions," Dr. Murray said.
Dr. Murray said hospitals remain busy with COVID-19 patients. She said people going to the emergency room without a real medical emergency could slow down service for patients who need the care.
When to get tested
Dr. Murray explained anyone who knows they were exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 should get tested.
She said recommendations vary for when to get tested. Dr. Murray said that most doctors suggest getting a test between 3-7 days after exposure. She said anyone with symptoms should get tested as soon as they can find one.
Waiting for results
Dr. Murray said it's important for people to stay home and isolate themselves while waiting for COVID-19 results, especially if they know they were exposed to someone.
Dr. Murray suggested exercising caution around family members until your test comes back negative.
Why is testing important?
Dr. Murray said testing is extremely important for tracking community spread. She said it could inform people if they're contagious, and they then can take necessary precautions to protect their community.
Dr. Murray also said with the omicron variant becoming so widespread, it is important to isolate who does and does not have the virus.