Ad Spot

Merit Health: No COVID-19 testing unless patient presents symptoms or meets criteria

Thinking about getting tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure?

Merit Health River Region is reserving tests unless you present symptoms or meet certain criteria, said Merit Health River Region CEO Ben Richaud on a call with Warren County Chamber of Commerce members Thursday morning.

“We continue to receive a lot of questions about testing asymptomatic patients, whether that’s people in the community that are just inquiring about if they should be tested or whether that’s employers in the community that say, ‘Hey, I want to get my personnel tested prior to their return to work.’

“I want to be very clear on this,” he continued. “The guidance on testing has not changed. You need to very clearly understand that testing an asymptomatic patient … is not a reliable or a predicted way to either help stop the spread of the virus or determine who may become symptomatic in the future. (COVID-19 has) a 14 day incubation period, so an asymptomatic patient may test negative one day, but they may still develop symptoms after receiving that negative result.”

In this scenario, asymptomatic means that a patient does not show signs or symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

Richaud said symptoms and criteria for COVID-19 testing include:

Fever of 100.4 or higher

Upper respiratory issues like coughing, wheezing and/or shortness of breath

If the patient has traveled, been out of the country or visited one of the areas defined by the Center for Disease Control as an area of concern

If the patient has been directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Richaud said Merit Health River Region would not test patients if they do not present the symptoms above or meet the criteria listed above.

“Doing so is discouraged at the state level, it’s discouraged at the national level,” he said. “It consumes resources and it’s not a prediction of who is going to get sick.”

Richaud ended with a simple request to employers not to send employees to the emergency room if they are asymptomatic.

 

Editor’s clarification: An earlier version of this story included a sentence that could have been misinterpreted as Merit Health River Region CEO Ben Richaud saying that patients were ‘out of luck’ if they wanted to get precautionary tests. This phrase was not in quotes in the earlier version and was not said by  Richaud. We apologize for any confusion.

News

Easter Sunday Sunrise Service will go on, at Halls Ferry Park

Arts & Entertainment

Barkley’s love affair with art is as dynamic and interesting as ever

Lifestyles

Loosa Yokena plantation has a deep, rich history and a legacy of loving owners

Lifestyles

Traveling west with Mack Varner is a diversion from the ordinary

COVID-19

Mississippi College reports confirmed case of COVID-19

Business

Golding Barge staying busy, but is vigilant against spread of Covid-19

Business

Hobby Lobby announces it is closing stores nationwide effective Friday night

Business

Unemployment claims overwhelming state office

COVID-19

Canceled conference affects students selected for honor choirs

COVID-19

Flaggs makes official his request to Trump to help faith-based organizations, churches

Faith

St. Paul pastor flies over city; asks God’s blessing on city

COVID-19

Volunteers and donations help both first responders and restaurants

Business

City, county adopt stronger restrictions, city issues shelter-in-place order beginning Friday evening

Faith

Local pastors using alternate means to observe Holy Week

COVID-19

NFL star, Vicksburg native Malcolm Butler donates $10,000 to United Way program

COVID-19

County announces closures in response to Shelter in Place order

BREAKING NEWS

Barges break loose after tow hits bridge

COVID-19

Seniors call time ‘bittersweet’ as they pick up caps and gowns they may never use

Business

Reeves issues statewide shelter-in-place order

Local

City’s animal shelter temporarily closing to the public

Local

Park officials constantly evaluating risks to public in remaining open

Local

Surge locally on the Mississippi River, Delta coming

Local

Virus concerns force NRoute to suspend normal routes

COVID-19

Vicksburg neighborhood sends out messages of hope