Flu, cold and coronavirus often share certain symptoms, but differences in intensity and how they appear can offer clues to which one is causing the misery. Doctors can test for the flu and get results within a day, but coronavirus testing is still limited by availability in the United States.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE SICK
Don't go straight to your doctor's office -- that just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
Fever, cough and noticeable shortness of breath -- "if you have those three components, especially if it's associated with some recent travel or someone you know who's been exposed to COVID-19, those things should prompt you to call for medical attention," said Dr. Gary LeRoy, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“Mildly ill patients should be encouraged to stay home,” the CDC's Dr. Sue Gerber told doctors on a conference call last week. People having difficulty breathing should seek care, and older people or those with other conditions should contact their doctors early in the course of illness, she said.
In Arizona, if you're experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can contact the following healthcare companies about getting a test:
Banner Health - Phoenix metro and Tucson
Call 1-844-549-1851 Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. If a team member determines you meet the criteria for testing, you'll be scheduled for an appointment at one of their drive-through sites. The sites do not accept walk-ins and appointments must be made in advance.
On https://www.abrazohealth.com/our-response-to-COVID-19, click on the COVID-19 Assessment Tool link to determine if you qualify for coronavirus testing. If so, they will recommend a virtual consultation at https://tenethealth.amwell.com.
If you have a fever of 100.4° or higher, a cough, or shortness of breath, call the nurse line at 480-587-6200 to be directed to the most appropriate place for care.
"If you believe that you may have Coronavirus: Call ahead before going to any HonorHealth location. Please do not go to the emergency department for testing unless you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency."
Symptom checker, live chat, testing information:
Drive-up testing available for Maready Medical's existing and new patients. They require symptomatic patients to be seen first by virtual visits and if you meet the criteria, you can drive to their office located at 4135 S. Power Rd. #113. To schedule, call the office at 480-626-2444 or book online.
Call 928-679-7300 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The specimen collection site is 446 Fort Tuthill Loop in Flagstaff starting March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as supplies last.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.