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Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms

By Andrea Swenson, RN, director of clinic nursing and patient safety
As expected, in response to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and exposures in the area, we are beginning to see an increase in testing for COVID-19 as well. We wanted to provide some information so the public is aware about the scenarios when testing is most appropriate in accordance with CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.
If you have symptoms, you should be tested. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include: gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
If you do not have these symptoms but have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested. Close contact is generally described as being within 6 feet of someone for at least 15 minutes. It can take two to 14 days for COVID-19 to develop after an exposure so people should not get tested until at least five to seven days have passed since that exposure occurred.
Even with a negative test, people still need to complete their 14-day quarantine period and be monitoring for symptoms as COVID-19 still has the potential to develop following a negative test. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions about whether testing is recommended.
There are some additional testing situations when current COVID-19 infection just needs to be ruled out, such as prior to surgery or travel. But even these tests only indicate you are not infected with COVID-19 at the time of the actual test.
Contact the clinic in Hallock at 218-843-2165 or Karlstad at 218-436-2251 with questions or if you need an appointment.

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