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Missouri coronavirus testing criteria loosened, could allow more people to get tested

Patients no longer need to have contact with a person who was known to test positive for COVID-19, which means more people could get approved to get a test

MISSOURI, USA — More people in Missouri should be able to get permission from a doctor to get a coronavirus test after the state loosened the criteria Monday.

The new guidelines keep the requirement that the patient shows COVID-19 symptoms, but doctors can now use their own judgment to determine if the patient needs to be tested. Before Monday's new guidelines, patients needed to either have symptoms so severe that they needed to be hospitalized or they needed to have known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The guidelines say there are three groups that should get priority:

  • Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control. 
  • Symptomatic residents of congregate living facilities that house adults ages 65 or older and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, chronic heart disease, such as heart failure, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).
  • Any persons, including healthcare personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect COVID-19 patient with pending laboratory testing or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient.

Testing for people not showing any symptoms is not recommended.

A number of healthcare providers are offering video screenings for people concerned they might have COVID-19.

RELATED: MU Health Care to offer free COVID-19 video screening

RELATED: SSM Health offering free virtual visits for those concerned about COVID-19

The full testing guidelines can be found here.

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