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Avoid Abuse Of Test Process

Expect some of the same people who beat you to the last package of toilet tissue at the grocery store to be lining up at Wheeling Hospital’s COVID-19 testing tents at Wheeling Park. Our plea to them is that they not endanger the lives of neighbors by doing so.

Inconveniencing others by hoarding canned food or toilet tissue is one thing. Using up a COVID-19 test kit unnecessarily and making it unavailable to an elderly person who may have the disease is something else entirely. It is life-threatening.

As our story on page one explains, Wheeling Hospital and WVU Medicine have set up a COVID-19 testing center at Wheeling Park. Similar steps are being taken at other locations in the state.

But the number of COVID-19 test kits is limited. It appears Wheeling Hospital has 400 of them.

That could be exhausted in an afternoon if people not clearly at risk attempt to get tested.

Understand this: Health care professionals at Wheeling Park will be checking symptoms before administering tests. Coughs, high temperatures and shortness of breath are among potential indicators of COVID-19. Others who may merit testing include people who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus or who have traveled to an area where it is widespread.

If you have any doubt as to whether you should be tested, call a doctor.

Chances are that if you show up without meeting any of those criteria, you will be turned away. Law enforcement officers will be present, by the way.

Wheeling Hospital and WVU Medicine are performing an enormous public health service in setting up COVID-19 testing.

But attempting to make use of it without good cause may delay diagnosing of people who need treatment for the disease as quickly as possible. Don’t do that, we beg you. Don’t put someone else’s life in danger.

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