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COVID Testing: Knowing your status, at-home testing, and signs of COVID

With the Delta variant, school back in session and people back at work, COVID continues to spread, causing more people want to get tested.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "Well when we have community transmission that is in the double-digit range, certainly about 21-22% on any given day, we've got a lot of COVID," said Alabama Department of Public Health Area Administrator Dr. Karen Landers, M.D. "Obviously with a lot of COVID, we've got a lot of people with symptoms that could be compatible with COVID. Therefore, a need for an increased number of tests."

The Delta variant is one reason that there is an increased rate of transmission and people going back to 'normal' without PPE or being vaccinated is another.

"As we are returning to a semblance of normalcy, people getting out more so that's, of course, putting people more at risk," said Mark Moore, director of development with THRIVE Alabama.

RELATED: This is when most side effects will show up after a COVID-19 vaccine

Knowing your covid status could help protect everyone.

"You're protecting those around you and not spreading the virus that's the big thing when it comes to testing," said Moore.

"If you have COVID You do not need to be going to work, you do not need to be out and about, exposing other people to your disease," said Landers.

Thinking about testing yourself at home? Well, you can! And you can do so with accuracy.

"What I remind people about home testing is, again, if you have a lot of symptoms, and you get a negative, you need to check with your doctor. If you have a lot of symptoms and get a positive, you need to check with your doctor," said Landers.

Regardless of where or how you test, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID, it's recommended to see a health care provider.

"While the reliability is probably pretty good, you're still going to need to interact with a health care provider regarding those results so again it's a matter of choice, but keep in mind that you still need to interact with the healthcare provider reporting the results of your test," said Landers.

RELATED: UAB partners with ADPH to offer free asymptomatic COVID tests to school districts

Signs of COVID:

Concerned you might have COVID? Here are some things to look out for from the CDC:

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.