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Michigan officials expand coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to those with mild symptoms

Coronavirus testing tubes
Coronavirus testing tubes (AP)

LANSING, Mich. – People with mild coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms are now able to get tested.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expanding testing criteria for coronavirus to include those with mild symptoms. It has put a COVID-19 test site finder here.

“Expanded testing is needed to learn more about how COVID-19 is spreading in our state,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We want to make sure people know that if they have symptoms, they should work with their medical provider to be tested.”

Michigan’s testing priority criteria now includes:

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Symptomatic healthcare workers
  • Patients in congregate facilities with symptoms, including those at: long-term care or elderly living facilities
  • Jails or prisons
  • Homeless shelters
  • Residential foster care facilities
  • Other group living setting
  • Patients age 65 and older with symptoms
  • Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms
  • First responders with symptoms
  • Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
  • Individuals with mild symptoms

Click here to find a testing site near you

If you believe you have coronavirus you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss if you should be tested.

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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