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COVID-19 testing available for first responders, healthcare workers

First responders must have had close contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient or have symptoms to be eligible for testing through the state lab

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced it will expedite testing and test results for some first responders and other healthcare workers who are on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

DHSS said the specimens of workers who have had close contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient and is experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath would be processed through the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory.

The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory can provide test results within 24 hours of receiving a specimen, which is a faster rate than the 8-9 days of some commercial labs, according to a press release.

First responders must meet these criteria to be eligible for testing at the state lab:

  • Close contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient
  • Symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath

Testing is not available for people who are asymptomatic, according to the release.

First responders who meet the criteria can ask their healthcare provider to call the COVID-19 24-hour hotline at 877-435-8411 to request testing.

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