UW Health experts urge people to isolate if sick amid testing shortage

MADISON, Wis. – UW Health experts are urging people to stay home if they show signs of COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing remains in high demand as cases continue to rise. Over 12,000 Wisconsinites tested positive in one day last week, a new record.

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However, with high demand comes limited supply. Experts said many people who show symptoms of COVID-19 have not been able to get a test. UW Health’s Dr. Jeff Pothof said the best thing you can do right now is isolate yourself if you feel ill.

“It’s disheartening to be in this place where so many people are sick and there aren’t enough tests to keep up,” Pothof said. “We can’t just pretend we aren’t sick, infect others, and carry on with our lives.”

Pothof also urged those seeking a test to stay away from emergency rooms.

“The emergency department is already overwhelmed with the number of people seeking care,” he said. “You risk infecting vulnerable people seeking care for other medical conditions who are at risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19.”

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According to Pothof, those showing mild symptoms should stay home, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid public areas. If you live with others, try to stay in one room by yourself. If symptoms worsen, call your health care provider.

“Many cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate and can be treated at home,” Pothof said. “If you have symptoms and can’t find a test, assume you are positive and take the appropriate action.”

Still, Pothof said it is important to try and get tested. You can find a testing site in your area by visiting the Department of Health Services’ testing website.