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UPDATE: Coronavirus testing is rapidly expanding, and medical masks are on the way to health care providers

The Coronavirus Task Force was eager to share that Coronavirus testing is rapidly expanding. According to Vice President Mike Pence and Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of HHS, over 195,000 Americans have already been tested. However, this number does not include the many Americans who are still awaiting test results. We should expect to see, both the number of Americans tested, as well as the number of confirmed cases, jump within the coming days and weeks.

Though testing is expanding, Adm. Giroir and Dr. Fauci remind the public that there is a priority list in regard to who will be tested. The list is as follows:

  • Those hospitalized and/or in ICU
  • Health care workers
  • Symptomatic people in long-term care facilities
  • Symptomatic individuals over 65
  • Symptomatic people with underlying conditions.

If you are non-symptomatic, Dr. Fauci urges you not to get tested. Why? Because there is already a shortage of PPEs, and if a health care worker has to use PPEs to test someone who is not sick, a larger disparity of PPEs is created, putting health care workers and other patients at higher risk. The best thing to do is to stay at home, and only leave when necessary. If you are out, practice social distancing. 

The supply of medical equipment has been significantly increased, and health care providers across the country can expect to receive masks and other PPEs within the coming days. Those areas that have been most impacted are being serviced first.

Dr. Fauci does say that we are moving towards testing that would not require PPE.

PHOTO: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

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