Health officials in New York City and Los Angeles are recommending that doctors avoid testing patients, except in cases where a test result would significantly change the course of treatment.
According to CNN, a news release from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health advised doctors not to test patients with mild respiratory symptoms unless “a diagnostic result will change clinical management or inform public health response.”
Coronavirus testing at L.A. County public health labs will prioritize those that have symptoms, residents of long-term care facilities, health care workers, paramedics, and other high-risk situations. Everyone else is encouraged to stay home.
New York City Health Department was instructed to follow the same instructions. All healthcare facilities are to stop testing patients for Covid-19 that are not hospitalized.
The recommendation reflects a “shifting from a strategy of case containment to slowing disease transmission and averting excess morbidity and mortality,” according to the news release.
Limiting the virus testing in America’s two largest population would lead to a widespread of cases being under-counted.