A member asked:

My son has been sent home from school coughing and the school wants a corona virus test. can i go straight to the lab and ask for one?

2 doctors weighed in across 2 answers

Needs isolation: In the US, no. Labs do not collect samples directly from people. A sick person should go nowhere until advised by his doctor after a video evaluation or at least a phone evaluation. If a sick person goes out, he may contaminate everything and everyone, which in March 2020 in the US is what we want to avoid. Walking into a lab contaminates the lab. One can talk to a doctor or Public Health first.

Answered 3/25/2022

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Dr. Le Wang answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

Coronavirus: I would suggest you follow school's procedure if any and get test done as recommended. Labs, at least Quest, may be able to offer coronavirus test, but require doctor's prescription. Since coronavirus is a highly contagious virus, it is important to follow CDC recommended procedure, not only for testing but also for proper evaluation of the need for quarantine if high-risk exposure.

Answered 7/12/2020

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