Calif. narrows testing priority as virus cases surge

Coronavirus

In this June 25, 2020, file photo, a physician assistant prepares to collect a nasal swab sample from a patient for COVID-19 testing at Xpress Urgent Care in Tustin, Calif. The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running out again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has overhauled its guidelines for who can be tested for the coronavirus.

Guidelines released Tuesday prioritize people who are in the hospital with symptoms, those in close contact with infected people and when necessary to control outbreaks.

That’s a narrower focus than the state had previously, when some cities were allowing anyone, even those without symptoms, to get tests.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s top health official, says the state needs to focus on controlling outbreaks while it works to increase testing capacity.

California’s transmission rates and hospitalizations have been steadily rising.

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