City and county government is doing all it can to contain and slow down the spread of the coronavirus in El Paso. Testing is central to these efforts.

Currently there are two main reasons someone would be tested for COVID-19: having symptoms that includes shortness of breath and/or exposure to an infected person. Below is the step-by-step process on how the public can be tested outlined by the city:

Step 1: All area residents should stay home whenever possible and monitor themselves for flu-like symptoms. This includes cough, fever and shortness of breath. If a combination of all three symptoms does not improve over the course of 72 hours or worsens, they should contact their healthcare provider.

Step 2: If a resident has all these symptoms AND has traveled outside of the El Paso region or if they have had close contact with someone who is a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Step 3: The healthcare provider will assess the patient who is seeking care and rule out other causes of symptoms, including allergies, and the common cold.

Step 4: After the healthcare provider rules out other sources of illness, they (will) contact the Department of Public Health Epidemiology Program for triage, based on the Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines.

Step 5: If approved by the Public Health Epidemiologist, the healthcare provider will…collect and submit two upper respiratory samples, plus a third lower respiratory sample if possible.

Step 6: The healthcare provider will then notify the Department of Public Health Laboratory. While awaiting results it is important to have the patient self-quarantine at home if they are discharged from care.