Parkland recommendations for those waiting at COVID-19 test sites

COVID test recommendations
Nurses and doctors work in the COVID-19 unit at Doctors Health at Renaissance in Edinburg. – Photo by Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Dallas County, public health officials are striving to test everyone who is in need and emphasize that it’s important that people with symptoms get tested. However, officials at Parkland Health and Hospital System say that the wait times at various drive-thru and walk-up testing sites throughout Dallas County can be very long and are offering recommendations for those considering being tested.

Those experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 such as those listed below, please get tested early and do not wait for symptoms to become severe:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of smell or taste

 

Those experiencing severe symptoms as listed below, should proceed to the nearest hospital emergency room. Waiting at a testing facility when experiencing these symptoms could be dangerous:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Ongoing pain or pressure in your chest
  • Shaking chills
  • New confusion
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Bluish lips or face

 

Please remember, long wait times mean a long time in the car or outside in the elements. Be prepared and consider the following:

  • Bring enough water to stay hydrated
  • Bring snacks
  • Make sure your gas tank is full
  • Make sure you have a way of staying cool
  • Use the restroom before you arrive at the testing site; no public restrooms are available

 

At this time, this service is only available to current Parkland patients. Parkland patients can contact the COVID-19 Patient Line at 214-590-8060 for more guidance about testing.

Parkland experts recommend that people can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your face with a mask when outside your home
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Practice social distancing – avoid groups; limit your exposure to other people; as much as possible, maintain 6 feet of distance from others
  • Those who think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, do not go to an emergency room or urgent care emergency center – call your primary care physician for instructions.

 

For further information about COVID-19, contact the Dallas County Health and Human Services or visit https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/2019-novel-coronavirus.php; the Texas Department of Health and Human Services website at https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and Parkland at http://www.parklandhospital.com/covid19. See CDC symptom guide at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms.pdf.

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