Do you still need to get a COVID-19 test? Vaccinations and anti-virals are available almost everywhere and the early pandemic era restrictions are long gone. But does this mean you can skip a Covid test if you feel sick? With cold and flu season on the horizon and plenty of other respiratory viruses around, take a look at what you need to know about the coronavirus test, your health, and helping those around you to stay safe.
What Symptoms Should You Watch Out For?
More specifically, what is the current list of symptoms that should make you test for COVID-19? If it seems like the signs of Covid are different now than they were two-plus years ago, they are—at least partially. In the beginning days of the pandemic, the main Covid symptoms were fever, cough, and shortness of breath. You may have even tried to get a test for coronavirus after noticing one of these symptoms in the first few weeks of the Covid lockdown. But without the other two, it's possible you were turned away.
Now that the medical community knows much more about Covid, healthcare providers understand that this virus can come with a wide range of symptoms. Some people who have Covid-19 never experience a fever. While others have a temperature of 101 or higher for days.
As mutations in the virus occur and new variants pop up, the types, duration, and severity of some symptoms may change. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), possible Covid symptoms now include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
The CDC also notes that the list of possible symptoms could grow and change. This means you will need to look for updates to know if your symptoms warrant a test. If you're not sure whether you have Covid symptoms or something else, contact your medical provider.
Do You Need To Test If Your Area No Longer Has Covid Restrictions?
Covid testing was never mandatory in the United States. But the CDC does recommend testing after exposure or with symptoms. Even though you don't have to get a test, you should test for coronavirus if you feel sick. Not only can a test either confirm or rule out a Covid infection, but it can also help you to stop the spread of this disease.
If you don't know whether you have Covid, allergies, or a cold, you could potentially infect other people. Even if you don't get seriously ill, those around you could—especially if they have risk factors, such as age, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or are immunocompromised.
For more information about Covid tests, contact a local doctor.