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Testing For COVID-19 Still Limited In Missouri, Physician Says

The new coronavirus has been detected in dozens of countries, including the United States. It gets its name from its protruding spikes, which resemble a crown.
Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio
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There is a lot of anxiety swirling right now over the new coronavirus. There’s also a lot of misinformation. 

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Dr. Alexis Elward joined host Sarah Fenske to help set the record straight and answer listener questions and concerns. Elward is an infectious disease physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Elward says that health care providers are still being careful about who they test for COVID-19, with tests mainly limited to people likely to have had contact with an infected person.

“People are starting to relax the criteria a little bit,” she said, “but we’re still going on the guiding principle of, ‘Where is there community transmission?’ We always think about the pre-test probability when we’re testing people because we still have a limited number of tests to be able to send. The swabs that we use to obtain the tests are something we want to protect and preserve in terms of the supply, so we’re not doing broadspread testing right now.”

Listen to the full conversation:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.