Mo. speeds up COVID-19 testing for first responders and healthcare workers

Mo. speeds up COVID-19 testing for first responders and healthcare workers
The lab can provide test results within 24 hours of receiving the specimen — a faster rate than the 8-9 days of some commercial laboratories. (Source: Theresa Schmidt KPLC)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is speeding up COVID-19 testing and test results for some first responders and other public health and safety professionals by processing their specimens through the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory.

This is in an effort to keep them healthy and on the job.

The lab can provide test results within 24 hours of receiving the specimen — a faster rate than the 8-9 days of some commercial laboratories.

This means front-line professionals who test negative and recover from symptoms may return to work sooner and continue providing critical services to fellow Missourians.

Testing is not available for people who are asymptomatic.

For testing at the state laboratory, first responders must meet two criteria:

· Close contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient

· Symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath

First responders who meet these criteria can ask their health care providers to call the COVID-19 24-hour hotline at 877-435-8411 to request testing.

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