Where are the samples being tested?
The samples are being tested at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which is the only (Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), approved laboratory in our country to test for the virus.
Who needs to be tested?
This will be determined by the public health officials depending on the evolving situation. These are in accordance with the guidance provided by the World Health Organization. Not everyone with flu-like symptoms needs to be tested. At this time, if you do not fit the criteria, testing will not be performed. Factors such as clinical history, travel history and/or contact with a COVID-19 positive patient are considered. The advice varies and some countries and international news report different arrangements based on their individual situation. Please follow only to the official information sources regarding all issues related to COVID-19 to avoid misinformation.
Where and how are the tests taken?
Currently this test requires a special swab to be taken at the back of the throat. This swab is then transported to the lab at CARPHA via the national Trinidad Public Health Laboratory (TPHL). New tests are however being developed and this may change in the future. Source: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) and World Health Organisation (www.who.int).