COVID testing and prevention: What you need to know

COVID testing and prevention: What you need to know

With over nine million people infected and 231,988 dead, novel coronavirus 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19, is one of the deadliest diseases that the US has ever encountered.  The US has experienced almost 300,000 more unanticipated deaths this year than usual, with 200,000 of those deaths due to COVID-19.  It is imperative that all of us have the information we need to get tested in a timely fashion and to continue to work to mitigate our risk of catching and spreading this disease.

Indiana offers free COVID-19 testing at 273 locations throughout the state, with five located in Wayne County.  In order to receive a test, you will need to register with either an Optum/LHI location or a community location.  This step helps you pass through your test more quickly and get your test results securely.  Each testing center’s requirements are different – some need you to make an appointment ahead of time, while others will let you walk in. 

If you an Ohio resident, their COVID-19 dashboard provides the location of all of the state’s testing locations.  Most of them require a prescreening, and it is recommended that you call ahead, especially for community health centers.  Ohio has also opened up pop-up testing centers, which vary their location from day to day.  Pop-up location tests are free to all Ohio residents; other tests are free, but your insurance may be billed

Testing, however, only marks your status on the day of the test itself.  In order to prevent contracting COVID-19, you will want to continue to follow the guidelines laid down by the World Health Organization, including:

  • Wearing a mask.  A basic cloth mask can be up to 67% effective when it comes to protecting yourself.  Remember that a mask should cover your nose, mouth and chin in order to be effective.
  • Washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Staying away from crowded, closed-in spaces
  • Keeping at least six feet away from other people
  • Practicing good personal hygiene, including avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands

Keep in mind that COVID-19 is a subject rife with misinformation as well.  The images throughout this blog are courtesy of the World Health Organization, debunking myths and promoting facts that are backed with the best information that we have to date.  Because COVID-19 is a new virus, however, scientists are making new discoveries on a near-daily basis.  As of this writing, all of this information has been fact-checked and linked to credible sources where possible.  The WHO images are also freely shareable and can be downloaded from their site.

Are you seeking information on COVID-19 related news and studies?  Are you curious about the structure of COVID-19 and how it behaves?  Are you thinking about how COVID-19 compares to other pandemics in the past?  While librarians are not medical experts, we can help lead you to research that explores these topics and others of historical, scientific or social concern.  Ask us!

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