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Testing For COVID-19 Requires A Doctor's Order In Lane County

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While there are still no confirmed cases in Lane County, public health officials say they believe coronavirus is circulating in communities. So far, fewer than 28 tests have been ordered with negative results, an additional 5 samples are pending lab results. Folks need to know, getting the test is a process.

Lane County Public Health does not possess tests for COVID-19. Anyone who feels they are infected with the virus must be seen by a physician. Spokesman Jason Davis explains.

“Your doctor has the authority to order a test if you meet the criteria,” Davis says. “So they’re gonna assess you, based on their medical knowledge, they’re going to look at you and determine whether or not you meet those criteria. If you meet the criteria, a test will be ordered. It will be sent to the state public health laboratory and then you’ll be notified.”

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis at a press briefing on COVID-19 prevention tactics, testing updates and event closures.

Davis says at this stage in the pandemic, the criteria for testing are fever and difficulty breathing. The number of tests is expected to increase as the virus spreads. PeaceHealth Oregon plans to set up mobile units outside its emergency departments to treat potential surges of patients.

Reporter's Note: PeaceHealth representatives say they are "evaluating" adding mobile lab testing units. The mobile/trailer units, which arrived on PeaceHealth hospital sites on March 13, will not be equipped with labs or have testing capabilities. All medical providers in Lane County have test sample kits (mouth and nasal swabs and biohazard packaging) which may be administered onsite and then must be sent away to a certified lab for culture testing. 

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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