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People With Mild Symptoms Should Not Seek COVID-19 Test, Say NC Health Officials

A sculpture of Thomas Jefferson in Leland wears a surgical mask.

North Carolina’s strategy in the battle against COVID-19 is changing.  Widespread testing is no longer helpful.  As the state moves from containment to mitigation, health officials are prioritizing both testing and personal protective equipment.

The number of positive Coronavirus cases that the Department of Health and Human Services reports daily in North Carolina does not reflect all the cases in the state. 

Now, says State Health Director Betsey Tilson, officials will use the same strategies they use to track influenza. 

"That will give us much more evidence-based, science-driven data on the spread of the disease.  And then that will help us understand – do we need to put more social distancing and community mitigation strategies in place or can we start pulling them back?"

For people who think they might have COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, Tilson advises this:  

"Stay home, separate themselves from others, and call their doctor for medical advice." 

The problem with going out to get tested with only mild symptoms – it’s an opportunity to further spread the disease – including to people who would suffer serious complications or to a health care provider. 

Those who do experience more severe or worsening symptoms – such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – should call their doctor or 911.