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COVID-19 Testing

Last updated: April 1, 2020

Due to a national shortage, there are limited testing kits currently in Maryland.
Several factors contribute to the shortage of COVID-19 testing kits in the U.S. A limited number of test kits have been approved on the federal level to accommodate the current need. However, there are efforts being made by the state and private companies to provide additional test kits and they will become available upon completion of the government approval process.

Another factor for limited testing is the shortage of COVID-19 lab testing supplies needed to run the COVID-19 tests.
Due to this supply shortage, the turnaround time for test results is currently 4-7 days. The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is prioritizing COVID-19 testing and working with state and area partners on strategies to increase capacity.

In an effort to reserve testing for individuals who are most vulnerable, the health department has provided a prioritized list based on the CDC’s guidance for testing. The recommended guidance is on the following chart.

COVID-19 Symptoms: Fever, Cough, and Shortness of Breath*

Priority

1

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Healthcare facility workers with symptoms

Priority

2

  • Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms
  • Patients over age 65 years with symptoms
  • Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms
  • First responders with symptoms

Priority

3

  • Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
  • Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms
  • Healthcare facility workers and first responders
  • Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations

Non-Priority

  • Individuals without symptoms
Based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure.

Symptoms

The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe.
Individuals who are mildly ill are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management.

Individuals who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately.

Older people and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early in the course of even mild illness.

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