Previous story: If you believe you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, your first step should be a call to your health care provider or the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The Department of Public Health recommends that if you have traveled in the past 14 days to an affected area and have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care, and you should contact your provider and inform them of their travel history before going in.
China, Iran, South Korea and most of Europe have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Level 3 countries. The CDC has issued a global outbreak notice.
The criteria to get tested for coronavirus are both travel history or exposure to a confirmed positive case and having symptoms of the virus, according to Department of Public Health spokesman Dave Palmer. Symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
If someone meets that criteria, they will be referred to a testing facility, and their health care provider can help them coordinate the testing. Palmer said the Department of Public Health is not disclosing the exact locations of those testing facilities.
“We’re not in a position to have widespread testing right now, so we’re having to kind of manage the testing and make sure that we can test those people who need to be tested,” Palmer said.
The test is a nasal swab, and the sample is then sent to a lab for testing. The CDC is working to expand testing and laboratory capacity. The Georgia Public Health Lab and some commercial labs have received training for coronavirus testing, Palmer said.
When asked about the state’s testing capacities and how many samples the state is receiving for processing, Palmer said the Georgia Public Health Lab is not releasing information about testing capabilities.
The Department of Public Health is only reporting known cases of the coronavirus and is not releasing information about how many people are being tested. The department is maintaining a web page with updated information about cases in Georgia.