Officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services say they are expediting COVID-19 testing and test results for first responders and other public health and safety professionals.
In a news release sent out Saturday morning, officials say they will begin processing their samples through the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory.
The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory includes the testing of Missourians working in health care and public safety who have had close contact with suspected COVID-19 patients and subsequently experience symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
The lab can provide test results within 24 hours of receiving samples— 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 residents.
Officials say testing will not be 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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