The University of Washington Medical Center has begun drive-thru, mobile coronavirus testing. Early returns show that most people showing symptoms don't have the virus. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take every precaution.
As Donald Trump lags dangerously behind on our coronavirus testing needs, states like Washington are taking matters into their own hands. The UW Medicine’s Medical Center Northwest has created a drive-thru coronavirus testing site. The results so far should make you feel a little better.
According to a report by the New York Times, to get tested, patients are screened with the following questions:
Have they been experiencing cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, a runny nose or a sore throat? Did they have a specific exposure or recently travel to any countries with a current travel advisory?
The report states that of the 476 patients tested as of Thursday, only eight tested positive for coronavirus. That means only 1.68% of people with symptoms tested positive.
Dr. Seth Cohen, medical director of infection prevention at the University of Washington medical center, told the NYT that “many more” turned out to be “positive for influenza.”
Many of us with a cough or a runny nose can breathe a sigh of relief, but just don’t breathe it near anyone else. We still have to treat any symptoms like we have the deadly virus.
Maintain a social distance of at least six feet whenever possible. And if you are showing symptoms, self-quarantine immediately. While we still have much to learn about the coronavirus, we know that it’s highly contagious.
The Institute for Disease Modeling states the COVID-19 is one of the most contagious and severe flu viruses we’ve seen this century. It’s right in line with the Spanish Flu of 1918. That 1.68% could balloon rapidly if the sick don’t self-quarantine.
It’s great that states like Washington and Colorado are starting to do drive-thru testing, but the country is still nowhere near where it needs to be.
Part of the reason why spread in South Korea has tapered off is because of their testing ability. According to NPR, South Korea has tested 250,000 people since its outbreak on January 20th. The report continues:
It has conducted 3,600 tests per million people compared to five per million in the U.S.
Thankfully, people like Chinese billionaire Jack Ma are trying to help. Ma is reportedly donating 500,000 test kits and 1 million masks to the U.S. While some Trump associates cast blame on China, Ma is looking beyond borders:
We need to combat the virus by working hand-in-hand. At this moment, we can’t beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons.
We can work together to overcome this global pandemic, but only if everyone, from billionaires to everyday citizens, does their part.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.