A: State health department labs are restricting testing to the most severe cases, citing a national test kit and supply shortage.
Initially, the only patients who received state lab tests were symptomatic, had contact with a known patient and first had other illnesses ruled out. The state’s guidelines were widened earlier this month to include residents of nursing homes or other facilities, patients deemed to be “public health concerns,” those hospitalized with unexplained respiratory problems, and individuals at a higher risk of complications.
Other laboratories, though, can run tests outside the state’s parameters. .
Some doctors who send their tests to private labs say they’re not adhering strictly to government protocols.
“It’s a dilemma I had to go through personally,” said Dr. Rahul Khare, founder and CEO of Innovative Express Care on Chicago’s North Side. “Some people have four kids, and they need help from their moms. Or you have a patient with a high fever, and her mom is 80. We need to know in these cases.”