By Joshua Huff, sports editor
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday that it has expanded the criteria to be tested for covid-19 to include certain asymptomatic, high-risk groups and individuals.
The new criteria are expanded to hospitalized patients with symptoms, first responders who display symptoms, residents of long-term care facilities with symptoms and people with underlying medical conditions.
“By widening the conditions to test high-risk people before symptoms appear, the risk of continued transmission of the virus is lessened and timely case investigations and contact tracing can begin earlier,” the department wrote in a press release.
New testing criteria are as follows:
The patient is a resident (includes symptomatic and asymptomatic) of a long-term care facility and the facility has laboratory-confirmed cases in residents or staff, or are:
- Hospitalized patients with symptoms
- Healthcare facility workers, workers in congregate living settings, and first responders with symptoms
- Residents in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings, including correctional and detention facilities and shelters, with symptoms
- Persons without symptoms who have underlying medical conditions or disability placing them at a higher risk of complications, residency in a congregate housing setting such as a homeless shelter or long-term care facility, or screening of other asymptomatic individuals based on a case-by-case review and approval by the state health department or local health jurisdiction.
Symptoms of COVID-19 consist of either cough or shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) or at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.