Getting tested for coronavirus in Arkansas: What you need to know

ARKANSAS, USA — Gov. Hutchinson announced a two-day Arkansas Surge Campaign on Thursday during his daily COVID-19 press briefing, focusing on the state’s need to increase testing.

The messaging of the campaign is this: if you have symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, “Don’t Wait, Get Tested.” The goal is to increase from 1,000 to 1,500 tests over the next two days.

However, there has been a lot of confusion surrounding the facts on actually where to get tested for COVID-19.

Arkansas Department of Health’s website has a map of the state with all of the testing locations marked. 

It’s important to note that the health department asks that if you are experiencing any of the virus’s symptoms, to call ahead to your health care provider.

If you or someone you live with is at a higher risk for serious illness (older adults or having been diagnosed with underlying chronic medical conditions) contacting your healthcare provider early when symptoms are mild is encouraged.

Click here for more information on testing and scroll down for a map of testing sites in the state.

What if someone is healthy, but believes they may be asymptomatic?

“Right now, we don’t have the capacity to test everyone, but if someone has a history of possible exposure and they’re asymptomatic, we would encourage that person to be tested,” Dr. Dillaha with the ADH said.

The health department is working to make these people are being tested. Just make sure to tell the nurse you’ve had contact with someone who tested positive.

The cost of the test should also not be turning people away from getting one—even if you don’t have health insurance.

“Any testing site should take them without any hesitation because that’s a commitment that we have, that there’s not a cost,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Anyone with any of the following symptoms should go get tested. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

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