LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants you to get a COVID-19 test this Friday or Saturday if you are showing any symptoms of the virus.
The governor wants to increase resting to at least 1,500 people each day this Friday and Saturday. The state is currently averaging about one-thousand a day.
"We are not fully utilizing the testing capacity in our state," Dr. Nate Smith said. "I know that a week or two ago, many people experienced frustration about our lack of capacity."
Between the private labs, UAMS, and the state's department of health lab, the governor is confident fewer people will be turned away.
"If you have symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath, get tested for COVID-19," Gov. Hutchinson said.
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department of Health said to go get tested even if you are only showing one or two mild symptoms. She recommends calling ahead before you head to the testing site.
"They don't have to have a fever," Dr. Dillaha said. “They should seek testing through their usual site for where they get care.
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 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.
"Then we can follow up and see who their contacts are and perhaps test the contacts or at least make sure the newly positive case is isolated properly," Dr. Dillaha said.
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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
To find a testing location, you can visit the Arkansas Department of Health's website or check the ADH's map of testing locations throughout the state.