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It is worth bearing in mind that a test should not be required to ensure correct clinical treatment of a patient - which should be on the basis of clinical symptoms presenting at the time. The chief value of comprehensive testing is to assist in capacity planning, epidemiological research and contact tracing.

So if you are not going to bother with contact tracing - either because you are committed to the herd immunity approach or because you believe Covid-19 is rampant throughout the community in any case, tests become of somewhat academic value.

Some hospitals discourage staff testing as they know they will lose any staff testing positive for at least two weeks and thus may lose the capacity to operate at full capacity. The fact that this facilitates staff to staff and staff to patient transmission appears to be a secondary consideration - ppe (personal protective equipment) is never perfect and neither is adherence to the procedures required to robe and disrobe safely.

In Ireland the chief vectors of transmission appear to be hospitals and nursing homes with social distancing succeeding in reducing the numbers of new clusters elsewhere. So the advice is to avoid hospitalisation if at all possible, and don't get too old to look after yourself!

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 12:40:22 PM EST
Different morbidities can have similar symptoms but require very different treatments.

Treating symptoms is first aid. Often it helps. But if you don't understand the underlying condition you're going to miss treatment opportunities at best, while at worst you're in danger of making lethal mistakes.

CV-19 is different because there's no reliable treatment for now, so the only medical option is intensive first aid. But test/trace is still very, very important for controlling the spread.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 02:54:15 PM EST
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Technically Covid-19 falls under the Bio-Hazard 4 protocols and hospital staff should be wearing full internal containment/barrier suits.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 11:37:19 PM EST
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