CINCINNATI — Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.
Christ Hospital announced Friday it will be closing its COVID-19 testing center in Mason on Friday, March 20.
Christ Hospital said in a news release it does not have enough test kits to keep the test center open. The release said anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home in isolation; you should call your doctor or go to the closest emergency department if symptoms worsen.
Christ Hospital is not the only one finding it difficult to test everyone who walks through its doors. UC Health’s drive-thru coronavirus testing clinic is overwhelmed with visitors.
In a statement Wednesday, UC Health said due to "high demand and the need to prioritize available testing supplies for the most urgent and critical needs, the amount of appointments available for our drive-thru COVID-19 testing will fluctuate each day."
"UC Health patients with non-emergent symptoms should stay at home and call their primary care physician for further information and direction," the statement read. "Please be advised that your primary care physician and our clinical staff answering our central phone line may or may not recommend testing based on the number of available supplies and the prioritization of those with the most severe health challenges."
While some are struggling to meet the need for testing, Premier Health announced Friday it will be adding Saturday hours for those who have a directive from a physician to receive immediate testing.
The test collection site will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, in the University of Dayton Arena parking lot at 1801 Edwin C. Moses Blvd.
Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:
- Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
- See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.
- State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
- See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.
- SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail email@example.com
- See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.
What is coronavirus, COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.
What are the symptoms? How does it spread?
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.
The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.
Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to 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. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.
The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms, but it can be spread even at asymptomatic stages.