BATH – With the testing capacity for COVID-19 expanding, the Steuben County Public Health Department would like to make the public aware of appropriate testing applications.


Tim Marshall, director of Steuben County Office of Emergency Services, said testing priority is given to those who are at risk for having been exposed to the disease.


– Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever or cough and shortness of breath) ’and’ have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14 days


– Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 'and’ have tested negative for other respiratory illness 'and’ have traveled to a foreign country identified by CDC as having ongoing or widespread community transmission in the past 14 days: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html


– Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization 'and’ have tested negative for other respiratory illness 'and’ have traveled to a country identified by CDC with ongoing or widespread community transmission within the past 14 days


– Individuals who have a fever 'and’ a severe lower acute respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, that requires hospitalization and has no other explanation for disease (tests negative for flu, legionella, etc.)


– Individuals linked with a group of cases who have fever 'and’ symptoms of lower respiratory illness 'and’ have tested negative for other respiratory illness


It is not recommended that everyone be tested at this time, Marshall said. Only those meeting the above criteria are eligible for testing.


Individuals who think they may need to be tested should first call their healthcare provider for instructions.


Individuals are asked to not go directly to a healthcare office or hospital without first calling as they risk exposing others or getting exposed to a variety of illnesses.


“Hospitals and healthcare providers are already being inundated with people seeking tests who do not need to be tested,” stated Steuben Public Health Director, Darlene Smith. “The very best course of action right now is for only those who are seriously ill to be seeking medical care. We need our healthcare system to be properly utilized to keep it running smoothly rather than focusing on people who are worried but not sick. We know it’s a concerning time, but we want those who are well to stay home and remain well.”