South Florida

Experts Weigh in on What To Do Amid COVID Testing Shortages

NBC Universal, Inc.

We’ve been dealing with Covid for more than a year and a half, but this latest variant has many second guessing what we should do if we think we have been exposed or are feeling sick.

This week, long lines and potential shortages of COVID-19 testing kits were once again seen in South Florida.

“I went online and no one has them,” Richard Alexander said.

Alexander went on the hunt for an at-home rapid test after learning he may have been exposed to the virus.

“I found out last night that someone I had dinner with someone who. contracted COVID. So my daughter is pregnant and I can’t go near her,” Alexander said.

Dr. Dalia Hasan works with the advocacy group Covid Test Finders.

She says you should try to get tested if you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, but if you can’t then you should self-isolate.

“You need to be isolating at home, and you need to be contacting everybody that you have been in contact with and act as though you are COVID positive,” Dr. Hasan said.

If you get tested and get a negative result, Dr. Javiar Perez-Fernandez with Baptist Hospital says you may not be in the clear.

“You can be infected, and it can take hours up to days to become positive on your test. So there might be a moment where you can be infectious and transmitting the disease without testing positive,” Dr. Perez-Fernandez said.

What should you do if your rapid test results are positive?

Dr. Hasan says ideally you would follow-up with a PCR test, but if you can’t then she suggests taking another rapid test.

“You could get another rapid test, to confirm the accuracy of your original results, and if that is still positive then you need to be acting as though you are COVID positive,” Dr. Hasan said.

Bottom line, you should take precautions before attending any event or gathering.

“Try to minimize the number of people you are surrounded with,” Dr. Perez-Fernandez said.

According to the CDC’s website, If you are self-isolating with symptoms you should seek medical attention if you are having trouble breathing, persistent pain, or you can’t stay awake.

Contact Us