New state guidelines suggest discouraging COVID-19 testing for most patients

A new document released by the Arizona State Department of Health Service is suggesting that primary care providers discourage COVID-19 tests for most patients.

The document, dated March 25, 2020, was posted to the department's website.

"Allow us to clarify, as best as we can, the approaches that the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has been considering for primary care outpatient providers," read a portion of the document.

In the document, there is section that reads "discourage testing for COVID-19 for most patients."

"The current reality in Arizona and the rest of the country is that there are not enough available supplies to meet testing demand," that portion of the document reads. "Clinicians should consider removing this diagnostic "tool" from their toolbox and managing patients with respiratory conditions as if they have COVID-19"

“If you think you have it, you probably do. You should stay home," sasid Dr. Nicholas Vasquez. "If you get worse, call us or come on in. We will be there as much as we can."

The same document is also asking primary care providers to conserve personal protective equipment, including the exclusion of health care personnel not essential for patient care from entering the care area, and extending the use of personal protective equipment.

The document also states there is a CDC website that has resources for optimizing the supply of isolation gowns, face masks, N95 respirators and eye protection.

Across the country, there are about 65,000 tests performed daily, less than half of what is needed. Currently, Arizona has the fewest test in the country, per capita.

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Additional Resources

LIVE: Interactive Coronavirus case data and map


Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars (In Spanish/En Español)