Considerations for COVID-19 Testing for the General Public - AMA

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  • The American Medical Association (AMA) guides the public in its new update on the indications for undergoing a COVID-19 test to conserve limited testing resources and reduce wait times for results
  • The AMA advises that individuals should seek COVID-19 test only when they have a medical need for it
  • Medical need for the test includes presence of symptoms of COVID-19, a known exposure to COVID-19, or if the test is needed prior to seeing a physician or before getting a procedure
  • Those that do not have a medical need for the test should consider alternatives to limit the spread of the infection, such as self-isolation at home
  • Non-medical needs for the test include seeking COVID-19 testing before traveling for non-essential purposes, before returning to work or school, and as a prerequisite for attending large social gatherings
  • In these instances, quarantining at home is sufficient to limit the spread of the virus to others