The hardest thing about this pandemic is misinformation. It is very difficult to find facts and consistent information. Even when it comes to talking to medical professionals, depending on who you talk to, the advice or information changes.
I recently found out that I had been indirectly exposed to someone who was exposed to a COVID positive person. It was in interesting situation because the person who tested positive only got tested because they were going to see their mother in an elderly assisted living home over Thanksgiving and it was required for them to get tested prior to being allowed on the premises. The person had no symptoms and assumed there would be no issues but did comply with the test request. Upon receiving results 3 days later she tested positive. This means that unknowingly she exposed everyone she came into contact with over those 3 days of waiting for her results to the virus.
Through this experience I have gained personal insight and clarity into the testing process, testing options, apparent test accuracy and waiting period. I would like to share my first hand information.
- Rapid Test
- Accuracy = 80%
- Obtained with saliva
- Takes up to 5 days to show virus
- Costs less (usually)
- Fast results
Conclusion: If you have been recently exposed (under 5 days) test can not detect virus. You could be A symptomatic and still spreading the virus unknowingly. Even if your rapid test comes back negative but you got tested before the 5 day mark when the virus will show up on a rapid test you could still be positive.
2. PCR Test
- Accuracy = 95%
- Obtained with nasal swab
- Instantly shows if virus is present
- More expensive (usually)
- Can take up to 4 days at some clinics (but we found a place that gave result in under 24 hours)
Conclusion: If you want to find out fast and with more certainty this is a better choice.
Where can you get tested?
We now offer antigen tests and antibody tests. Call one of our clinic to book an appointment and get fast results.
When should you get tested?
As soon as you have been made aware that you have been exposed to someone who tested positive you should be tested. You shouldn’t finish your day at work, you shouldn’t be around your family (unless you have already seen them), yo shouldn’t go to the grocery store. Everywhere you go you are potentially spreading the virus until you have the negative test. This is how it is spreading so quickly, test results are taking days and people are assuming they are negative and spreading the virus by not quarantining until they have a confirmed test. If it takes 4 days, you should not be leaving your house for 4 days, that is why the TotalCare Emergency Room in Benbrook is so highly recommended, results in under 24 hours.
How long are you contagious for?
This is one of the biggest questions and is still a real unknown. As a result I am not going to speculate. The best thing to do is stay home, keep your distance and go back for a negative test.
This is the information from CDC:
You can be around others after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation
Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.
Note that these recommendations do not apply to persons with severe COVID-19 or with severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised). These persons should follow the guidance below for “I was severely ill with COVID-19 or have a severely weakened immune system (immunocompromised) due to a health condition or medication. When can I be around others?”
Something else I learned through the experience is sometimes it hard to make choices that protect EVERYONE, but it is so important. Treat everyone as if you were exposing your own family. Be considerate. Be ok with missing the event or that occasion for the betterment of all. Yes it is the holiday season, which is even a better reason to take care of each other. Be compassionate towards a family member that decides not to make it this year, make an extra phone call to a loved one that may be away, send a text of love and appreciation. The holidays may be different this year but there is still love to be shared and expressed.
Happy Holidays Everyone!