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Getting tested for COVID-19 on the road

  • August 05, 2020
  • Articles , Road Service ,

Getting tested for COVID-19 on the road

Truck drivers have been on the frontline providing essential services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to do so. The good news is that unlike many other frontline workers, the chances of a trucker contracting the virus are very small if they have limited contact with others. However, the bad news is that because of the nature of the job, many drivers are at a higher risk for conditions that compromise their immune systems. This could lead to a poor outcome if they were to catch the virus. Here is what truckers need to know about getting tested for COVID-19 while out on the road if they have been exposed or have symptoms of the illness.

When Should Truckers Get Tested?

The Centers for Disease Control has issued recommendations for what truck drivers should do if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms of the virus include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • New loss of taste or smell

If a trucker develops multiple of these symptoms and is not yet on a run, he or she should notify their supervisor and follow their directive. It is recommended to contact a physician and arrange for testing if recommended. He or she should not return to work until they have met the CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation. If a family member is sick at home with COVID-19, a trucker should notify their supervisor and follow the CDC’s recommendation of self-isolating at home for 14 days.

Where Can Truck Drivers Get Tested on the Road? 

There is always a possibility that a long-haul trucker could suddenly develop COVID-19 symptoms while on the road. The CDC recommends that drivers have an emergency plan with their employers and families if this were to happen. This includes where can they stop, where to find medical advice and treatment, and who will continue the delivery if needed.

To help truckers on the road who may have been exposed, or have COVID-19 symptoms, UrgentCare Travel has set up 14 clinics at select Pilot Flying J truck stops where they can be tested. Before a driver can get a test, they must first go through a telemedicine evaluation. This can be done anywhere in the country via a video call with one of UrgentCare Travel’s providers.

The health provider will ask the trucker a series of questions that are based on CDC guidelines, including:

  • What symptoms they may have
  • If they have traveled to a virus hotspot
  • Do they live with someone

Based on the answers, the provider will then determine what steps should happen next. If the driver’s symptoms indicate that he or she might have COVID-19, they will be directed to the nearest testing center or UrgentCare Travel location. However, if the trucker has severe symptoms, they may be told to go to the closest hospital emergency room.

When possible, health care providers at UrgentCare Travel locations will perform the test without the trucker needing to leave their cab. It takes about three days for the results to come back. While waiting for the results to come back, the trucker should self-isolate to avoid exposing others to the virus. To stay informed on these types of topics, we recommend you read our blog.

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