Ochsner announces COVID-19 testing guidance, free self-monitoring program

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The study comes as the United States has started to see a nationwide decline in COVID-19 cases, though it remains unclear if this decline will be permanent or if a resurgence of cases could come back in the winter. (Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- As New Year’s holiday celebrations approaches, Ochsner Medical Center releasees community members guidance on testing and treatment for COVID-19 safety.

“Urgent and emergency department care is available so that people who are experiencing urgent or life-threatening medical conditions can get the immediate help they need, and as a community we need to ensure those people have access to that medical care,” said System Medical Director of Hospital Quality Dr. Sandra Kemmerly.

“We are asking our community members who are asymptomatic and seeking a COVID-19 test to take an at-home test or go to a community testing site, not the emergency department. We understand the challenges and frustrations our patients are experiencing, including long wait times, and our teams are working tirelessly to secure additional testing resources for our patients and members of our communities,” she added.

If experiencing mild to moderate symptoms or seeking a COVID-19 test Ochsner suggest following these guidelines;

  • Stay home if you are not well. You do not need a positive test to do the right thing if you are feeling sick.
  • We recommend rapid at-home testing kits if available. We also continue to provide community and drive-thru testing locations across the region, which can be found at ochsner.org/testing. PCR tests are being performed at our community testing locations, and results can take up to 72 hours.
  • Virtual visits are available for common illnesses and other urgent care needs. If you’d like to see a provider without leaving home, visit ochsner.org/anywhere to start an OchsnerAnywhere Care virtual visit.
  •   Ochsner has also created a free COVID-19 Self Care and Symptom Monitoring Programfor community members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Most people who are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 can be treated at home. If symptoms worsen, Ochsner’s care team will be there to triage and guide on next steps and treatment options.

If no symptoms of COVID-19 or if asymptomatic and seeking test for work, travel or peace of mind, follow these guidelines;

  • We recommend rapid at-home testing kits if available. We also continue to provide community and drive-thru testing locations across the region, which can be found at ochsner.org/testing. PCR tests are being performed at our community testing locations, and results can take up to 72 hours.
  • Due to unprecedented demand on test sites, Ochsner urgent care clinics and emergency departments will no longer be able to provide COVID-19 tests for patients experiencing no symptoms (asymptomatic), effective immediately. Rapid testing will be limited to patients with medical conditions who are determined to need immediate COVID-19 status awareness after a medical screening exam is performed.

Additional resources for community members, according to Ochsner;

  • For virtual provider visit ochsner.org/anywhere to start an Ochsner Anywhere Care virtual visit.
  • Community members who have tested positive for COVID-19 can complete this quick form to be automatically registered in the COVID-19 Self Care and Symptom Monitoring Program.
  • Ochsner is updating information on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing on its website regularly. 

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