The Catch-22 of rapidly rising demand for COVID-19 testing, side-by-side with an increasing shortage of supplies has forced Spectrum Health Lakeland to change their testing criteria with an eye toward prioritizing patients who have symptoms of the coronavirus.
Due to that increasing demand for testing coupled with a nationwide shortage of supplies, Spectrum Health Lakeland has revised eligibility changes for those seeking a test at a Lakeland facility. The modifications ensure that those who are most in need can quickly and easily get tested. The following guidelines are currently in effect:
- Testing at a Lakeland facility is reserved for patients with one major symptom (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or two minor symptoms (loss of taste/smell, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea).
- Before a COVID-19 diagnostic test can be performed, patients must complete a screening and obtain a doctor’s order from their primary care provider. If patients, do not have a primary care provider, they should call the free hotline at 833.559.0659.
- A scheduled appointment is required to get a COVID-19 test. Spectrum Health Lakeland is not able to accommodate walk-ins or drive-ins at any of its COVID-19 testing sites without an appointment for that day and location. Once you have a doctor’s order call 269.927.5100 to schedule a specimen collection appointment.
- If seeking only a test, do not go to the emergency department or walk-in-clinics to be tested. Only go to these locations when seeking urgent or emergent care.
Joe Brown, Laboratory Director for Spectrum Health Lakeland, says, “Spectrum Health Lakeland regularly assesses the testing criteria for our patients to ensure we reserve enough tests for symptomatic patients,” and adds, “As the demand for COVID-19 tests decreases, we will be able to widen the opportunities for people to get a COVID-19 test.”
Community members who are asymptomatic and still want to be tested for COVID-19, should visit http://bchdmi.org or http://michigan.gov/coronavirus for a complete list of available testing sites in Berrien County.
It is recommended those with an exposure to COVID-19 follow public health guidelines and quarantine for 14 days. The community is urged to continue practicing social distancing, to wear a mask in public and to wash hands frequently. Spectrum Health Lakeland thanks the public for its support and cooperation as it responds to the increase of COVID-19 in the region.
For more information, visit http://spectrumhealthlakeland.org/covid19