If one suspects one is infected, proper procedure is to stay home and ask for a test at home?

OK, so I haven’t found the proper protocol for this (and I don’t know if it varies by region):

Considering how contagious Covid-19 is, I am assuming that if one is at home, but begins to develop symptoms that strongly suggest the coronavirus, that one should not go to a clinic or hospital (lest one infect many others,) but rather, stay at home, contact health authorities/911 and then ask for someone to come administer a test at your home (if that is even a thing?)

(Note: I have no such symptoms or reason to believe I have Covid-19; just asking in advance in case)

Call your doctor’s office and follow their instructions. From the CDC website:

“COVID-19 testing differs by location. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider first. You can also visit your state or local external health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.”

The thought that anyone would think that calling 911 would be an appropriate response to thinking you might have the flu is just scary.

…let them tell you how to proceed. They are aware of the public health concerns and will have a method to manage them.

My sister lives in Paris and likely has had it before they locked down (and has since been placed on the list for the antibody test by her doctor, when they are more available.) She had to schlep her way to the nearby hospital. They had set up an outdoor screening facility in the parking lot. She had to stand around in the parking lot for hours while being kept distant from everyone else. Eventually she saw a provider and got screened for symptoms. She was one check box shy of getting the test at that point. I am not sure how they would have provided the test. The nasal swab variant does not even require the provider to get within 6 feet.

Locally we have been through the issue of getting my dad into a nursing home. It is nominally a rehab assignment. To get into the nursing home he needed the test to ensure he did not have it. The testing site was drive through in a parking lot. The time to drive through was strictly controlled by appointment with an online questionnaire handling the initial screening. The workers never came within 6 feet of the car window. The provided the stuff pushed from one end of the table to the car window and then yelled all guidance from a distance while wearing PPE. It was the nasal swab method to do in the car. The swab went into a sealed container. They were spraying everything down with disinfectant after each car.

With just a little creativity, there is a range of options between at home testing and traditional crowded waiting rooms.

Call your doctor’s office. They may ask you to drive there but swab you etc. in your car.

Just curious (not challenging you, just asking), where have you looked?

Definitely call a doc’s office. Or go to your city or county website and look for info. Here in San Antonio, you can get a drive-up test at Wal-Mart. No referral needed. There’s an item in the daily newspaper every day, “Where to get tested.” I subscribe to the digital edition. You have to claim to have symptoms or be otherwise deemed “at risk,” which wouldn’t be hard to do-- sore throat, cough, over age 60, etc.

Looks like protocol (in most functioning) countries is exactly like that. Call your doctor. (or his nurse) He will phone-check your condition (you might be hypochondriac or under “condition” or something), then he will appoint you to nearest (drive-in) covid check-point. That was the case in my country from the peak 5-7 weeks ago. Before that was “see your doctor, but do not enter the clinic where he works in” protocol. Argh, catch 22.

When my son was tested the first time when he was sick around Easter, after calling our doctor, he was directed to go to one of the other clinics that was set up to handle suspected covid cases. He went inside like a regular appointment and says at that point it was no different than a standard visit except everyone was garbed and/or masked.

Yes, that’s what I did. I drove down to my doctor’s office and phoned them from my car in the parking area to let them know I was there and exactly where I was parked. A few minutes later, my doctor came out in full protective gear; I rowed down the car window and lowered my mask off my nose so she could do the swab (and stuck out a hand so she could check my oxygen level with a finger monitor); she went back in and I drove home, and she emailed me the results of my test the next day.

It was negative, but as long as I’m coughing I’m keeping away from everyone just to be on the safe side.

I’m glad it was negative! Hope your cough resolves soon.

Should you just carry yourself off to the hospital, at least here, (without life threatening symptoms, of course!), instead of being allowed in you’ll be directed to the testing spot, (drive through, as described earlier in thread). That’s where you will be triaged into whatever care situation suits your symptoms etc. Those who test positive, with serious, but not life threatening, symptoms are warded separately (sometimes another location entirely). Many, like my nephew, with mild symptoms, are sent home (with clearly laid out protocols to observe) to self isolate from their family.

Why would you call 911? Call your doc and set up a teledoc call. They can prescribe for you to get test at a drive through facility. No one is coming to your home to administer a test.

Maybe I would be doing it wrong, but if I suspected I had corona virus I would just stay home (not that I’m not doing that now) and treat the symptoms like I would a bad case of the flu. Unless the treatment is different, and I don’t know that it is. Here are the CDC guidelines, and they seem to match my expectation.

Obviously if I developed shortness of breath or severe/life-threatening symptoms, it’s time to go to the doctor, but otherwise I would prefer to leave hospital space and resources for people who need it.

I’m over 60 but in good health, no lung or heart problems, no co-morbidities - if I do get it, I am probably going to be miserable for a few weeks and then OK after that. If I am miserable for two weeks and it is definitely confirmed that I had COVID-19, I don’t see how that would make me or anyone else better or worse off. I would probably move into the spare bedroom and my wife would lob broths and clear liquids at me and otherwise avoid contact. Until I started to complain - that’s always a sign that I am feeling better.


One of Germany’s claims to a much lower death rate is from the start, the German physicians were treating symptoms, as opposed to other nations, which told you to stay home. Then basically you many got worse, until they needed full hospitalization.

Depends, I got tested in the parking lot outside the health department