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When should you test your child for COVID?

Dr. Joseph Gigante said if you have a fever, you should stay home and get a COVID test.
Dr. Joseph Gigante said if you have a fever you should stay home and get a COVID test
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 11:20 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - At a time where it’s become harder to get a COVID test, the question of when you should get one is now lingering for families across East Tennessee.

If you live in Knoxville, you’ll have to drive as far as Corryton to get a test on Tuesday through Walgreens. With CVS, the soonest you can get one is Wednesday in Lenoir City. According to both the Walgreens and CVS website, their at-home tests are sold out online.

Doctor Joseph Gigante with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital said the availability is in part to the demand in testing and not the shortage in supply saying, “you go to a pharmacy or just about anywhere to get a test and it’s just about sold out so it’s hard to get the testing done.”

With Knox County Schools and several other districts returning to the classroom on Tuesday, Gigante offers guidance on when to test your child for COVID or keep them home from school. He said that with a fever, you should stay home until it’s gone for 24 hours, but other symptoms can be up to a parents discretion.

“I think if they’ve got a little bit of a cough, a little bit of congestion, I think it’s more or a judgement call for parents to make on their own. You know I think if your child isn’t particularly sick, send them to school,” said Gigante.

With a fever and worsening other symptoms, Gigante said it’s not a bad time to go ahead and schedule a COVID test.

Other ways he suggests to combat COVID when sending your child back to school is to make sure frequent hand washing is practiced for at least 20 seconds, as well as coughing into your elbow instead of the hand, while also avoiding touching your nose and mouth as much as possible.

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