Fact Finders: With COVID-19 cases increasing, how often should I get tested?

KOLD Fact Finders: How often should you get tested for COVID-19?

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Arizona, another symptom of the pandemic may be rising: your stress level and safety concerns.

A viewer sent this question to the KOLD News 13 Fact Finders:

“How often should I be tested? I am staying home except to buy groceries or household supplies. I wear a mask out in public and social distance as much as I possibly can. I avoid large groups. There is no way to know for sure if have been exposed. I am over 65 years old. I was was tested weeks ago and the results was negative. I have no symptoms. How often should I be tested?”

Dr. Theresa Cullen, the director of the Pima County Health Department, said if you are asymptomatic and tested negative, you do not need to get re-tested, regardless of if you are in a high-risk category. However, if you live in a long-term care facility, guidance may be different.

”I’m sure that’s happening and you know, we never want to minimize what it’s like to be anxious or scared,” said Dr. Cullen. “So, if by going to get a test it will help alleviate your concerns, I think it’s okay to do that. We definitely appear, right now, to have enough tests.”

As of Wednesday, July 1, more than 84,000 COVID-19 cases were reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services. 8,387 of those cases were reported in Pima County.

[ COVID-19: What to do if you are sick ]

According to AZDHS, nearly 722,000 tests had been completed across the state.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Here are some resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“I do think anxiety needs to be mitigated and if it’s going to be mitigated because you get a negative test, then probably you should do it,” said Dr. Cullen.

Healthy ways to cope with stress from the CDC:

  • Know what to do if you are sick and are concerned about COVID-19. Contact a health professional before you start any self-treatment for COVID-19.
  • Know where and how to get treatment and other support services and resources, including counseling or therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
  • Take care of your emotional health. Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditateexternal icon.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use and drugsexternal icon.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, consider connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.

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