What You Need to Know-Week of January 11th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. COVID-19 Conversations: Responding to Misinformation

2. Kids and COVID-19: Testing and Children

3.   Quick Question: What is mail-in diagnostic testing?




1. COVID-19 Conversations: Responding to Misinformation



Since the pandemic started, there has been a lot of information circulating about how to stay safe, how the virus spreads, and even the origins of the virus (among other things). Unfortunately, not all of this information is accurate or trustworthy and can lead to harmful outcomes. On an interpersonal level, differing information can also cause tension or difficulty in your own relationships. In the past, we’ve shared articles about specific types of misinformation that we’ve encountered (e.g., misinformation about wearing masks and about future vaccines) as well as which sources can be trusted to share credible information. With these resources, we also feel that it would be helpful to reflect on how to best handle confrontations with loved ones that may involve misinformation. If you have a loved one who has heard misinformation, or is trying to share it with you, what can you do?

  1. Try to put yourself in their shoes:
    1. Experts say that it’s important to acknowledge the other person’s thoughts and fears before attempting to disprove the misinformation. 
    2. It’s important to remember that the other person is being overwhelmed with COVID-related information too, and that this pandemic is affecting everybody differently.
    3. What may this look like? 
      1. “This virus is so scary, and it’s hard to know what to believe with all of this information flying around.”
  2. Share your own perspective, and some helpful links:
    1. After acknowledging the other person’s fears and questions, it would be a good opportunity to share what you’ve been learning and reading about the virus.
    2. Sharing what you think (e.g., “I’ve been hearing something different”), and possibly sending a link or two, can open the door for the other person to consider a different perspective.
    3. Taking a group approach (e.g., “Can we both read these articles and talk about it?”) can minimize the other person’s perception that you aren’t open to discussing the misinformation.
      1. Doing so can tell your loved one that you’re open to being persuaded, which can help them be more open to it as well.
  3. Try to limit personal blame:
    1. Try to avoid any implication that believing the piece of misinformation is a personal failure. 
    2. Experts suggest blaming external actors, like the overwhelming state of our information ecosystem, instead of your loved one for considering the piece of misinformation.

For more information about handling awkward or uncomfortable conversations related to COVID-19, see our previous update where we interviewed Dr. Maggie Pitts, as well as our update regarding stressful conversations during the holidays. In addition to these previous updates, much of the information in the current post was pulled from an Atlantic article that included expert’s guidance about responding to a loved one sharing COVID-19 misinformation.



2.  Kids and COVID-19: Testing and Children

Students may already be back or are heading back to school soon. This, coupled with flu season and COVID-19 cases rising, make it a great opportunity to put together a plan for testing your children for COVID in the event there is a possible exposure.  Do not wait until symptoms manifest to arrange for testing if your child has had a significant exposure. Many children have very mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. Below we have provided some information to hopefully answer your questions:

  • It is recommended that children get tested at their pediatrician’s office, but drive-thru testing sites and other COVID-19 test centers also allow children to be tested. Both the antigen and PCR nasal swab diagnostic tests are safe for infants and children of any age.
    • Most testing sites require an appointment or online check in ahead of time. So, if you choose to get your child tested at a testing site it is a good idea to check with the testing site’s web page and to call ahead to ensure that your child will be able to get tested. To find where your child can be tested, visit this site
    • You can also call your selected testing location to find out about testing costs. 
  • Try to schedule an appointment as soon as your child has had a possible exposure, is experiencing symptoms, or they need a test to return to school, sports, or another activity. The optimal time for testing following an exposure is five days after exposure but many pediatricians are fully scheduled, so please do not delay in making an appointment. 

For more specific information on Kids and COVID, visit these links:


3.  Quick Question: What is mail-in diagnostic testing?


As we continue to see COVID-19 cases rise across the country, mail-in testing is becoming increasingly available. Mail-in diagnostic testing is a way for individuals who have had a potential exposure to COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms, to find out whether or not they currently have a SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

  • The process includes having a testing kit shipped to your home (usually within 24 hours), a swab or saliva collection is then taken by the individual and the person sends the sample back to the company so that a laboratory can examine it. This process needs to be completed quickly (typically within a few days) so that the sample does not expire.
  • At this time there is at least one FDA-approved test, but it is likely that this type of testing will become more common in the near future. It appears that both saliva and a nasal swab diagnostic test will be available depending on the company that offers the service.
  • The cost of mail-in testing depends on the test provider, some may be covered by insurance. Check with your provider to find out.
  • It is important to do research prior to buying a mail-in COVID test to be sure that the company is providing a reliable, accurate service (e.g., the FDA approved test).




The next update will cover information about vaccine updates. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of January 4th (English | Spanish)
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