COVID-19 symptom checkers: What they are and how to use them

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SPARTANBURG CO, SC (WSPA) — Symptom checkers are handy online tools that can help tell users whether or not they should go to the doctor with concerns over the coronavirus.

There are several free examples out there:

  • United Healthcare has one. Click here to view it.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine has one. You can access it here.
  • Google has one, too. Find it here.

“It doesn’t replace a doctor visit,” United Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saurabha Bhatnagar said. “However, it helps you evaluate your symptoms in the comfort of your own home.”

The systems use the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and artificial intelligence to question users about their symptoms. The questions come in a way similar to how a real-life doctor would ask them.

“It allows you to evaluate some of the symptoms you may be experiencing and helps you determine are those symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or to something else?” Bhatnagar said.

Based on submitted symptoms, the systems will give users advice of what they should do next. Advice can range from self isolation to contacting a healthcare provider immediately.

“If you do have symptoms and you use the system checker, that’ll let you know whether you need to have the test or not and then you would call your physician to get an order,” Jeff Carroll, the system director of EMS and Transportation Services at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, said.

Keep in mind most testing sites require visitors to have orders from a doctor before they will test them.

There are several testing sites across the Upstate, including at the following locations:

  • Anderson: AFC Urgent Care
  • Anderson: Anmed Health North Campus
  • Anderson: MEDcare Urgent Care
  • Cherokee County: Cherokee Medical Center
  • Greenville: Greenville Convention Center
  • Greenville: Prisma Health Hospital
  • Greenwood: Self Regional Healthcare Community Health Info Center
  • Spartanburg: USC Upstate
  • Spartanburg: MEDcare Urgent Care
  • Union County: Union Medical Center

You can reach out to your doctor to request an order for the COVID-19 test if you believe you have symptoms or have come into contact with a positive case.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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