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Published on January 18, 2022

COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know | Interview With Laura Murray, MD

COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know | Interview With Laura Murray, MD

Have questions about COVID-19 testing? Get answers from Laura Murray, MD, area medical director of Cone Health Medical Group, in this 2 Your Well-Being discussion with WFMY News 2.

Who should get a COVID-19 test? When should they get it?

"The first thing is if you are face to face with somebody, sharing air for more than a couple of minutes - if they turn up positive, then you need to think about going and getting yourself a test."

"There are various recommendations out there - The CDC says five days after you were exposed. The health department says something in the range of three to six days after you're exposed. But if you're sharing air with somebody for any length of time who turns up positive, you need to go get a test."

"The second thing is if you have symptoms, if you have something new respiratory-wise or a new fever - you need to just go get a test as soon as you've got symptoms."

If you get a negative test result the first time, does that mean you're in the clear?

"You have to remember with tests - they're good, but they're measuring a point of time. Infections are a process. And so you may be capturing a moment in time before you were making a whole lot of germ particles. And so I would say that if you feel strongly that you had a real exposure to somebody who had COVID, you might go ahead and get another test a couple of days later if you've gotten a negative test first."

While you're waiting for COVID-19 test results to come back, what precautions should you take?

"It's really best if you can stay home. If you are fully vaccinated, I think there's some flexibility [on how long] you absolutely are required to stay home. If you are not fully vaccinated, then you really do need to stay home."

"If you've got symptoms, period, we need to know that you've got a negative test and an appropriate time period has passed before you can go back out in public."

"If you have just had an exposure, then you do need to really stay home if you haven't been fully vaccinated until you know that it's negative, and that's because we know that the vaccine makes a big difference in how infectious you are, how much of a contagious threat you might be."

Why is it so important to get a test and know if you have COVID-19?

"Right now, it has a lot to do with just how infectious this variant is. We know there's a whole lot of germ out there and a whole lot of people who have it. And we know that this continues to represent a threat to our our sicker and more vulnerable members of the population. And so I think just knowing if I have as a person who has been exposed or who has symptoms, just knowing with a high degree of likelihood if I have it is really important - then I can protect others."

Learn more by watching the full video interview above. 

2 Your Well-Being

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