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Online calculator helps determine when to test for COVID-19

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covid test parking lot 7news.JPG
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There are tip calculators to help determine how much you should leave your server at a restaurant, now there’s an online tool to calculate whether you should get tested for COVID.

PCR or antigen test. Quarantine or isolation. Transmission rates and close contact criteria. Constantly changing pandemic data is sometimes hard to grasp.

“Even for the rocket sciences out there, all of this is very confusing,” said Dr. Bruce Tromberg, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

It’s known you can be asymptomatic – COVID positive with no symptoms – so, if you’re feeling OK, when should you take a test, if at all? That’s where the National Institutes of Health comes in with its new mathematical model called the “When To Test” calculator.

“Now this is something where you can go on, input a few things and actually get an answer,” said 7News Health Reporter Victoria Sanchez.

“That’s right. Testing plays a very important roll but not everyone is using it in the best way. Whether they’re wearing masks, not wearing masks, social gatherings, should you test before you have one, should you test after you have one. So, it’s a decision support tool both for organizations and the new feature is for individuals. That’s always a personal question that comes up,” said Dr. Tromberg.

It’s not just how many people you’ve been around and if you’ve masked, just like real estate: location, location, location.

“And that’s a very, very important thing. If everyone is vaccinated in your region and you’re not in a hot spot, then logically you don’t need to be tested as often,” explained Tromberg.

After about a minute answering the online questions, you’ll get simple graphs deterring your relative risk of having, getting or spreading COVID-19. This information can be helpful especially during the holidays.

There is also al calculator for businesses.

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“We have really important decisions as we all envision what is the future of work going to look like, how will our organization keep us safe,” he said.

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