The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of COVID-19 testing.

When COVID-19 was claimed a pandemic in March of 2020, we were pretty strict about testing patients. Patients had to have specific symptoms and fit specific other criteria for us to even consider using a test.

Part of that is because we knew very little about the virus and its symptoms.

It was also because we were in very short supply of the actual test itself. I specifically remember receiving about 5 tests in March and were told to use them appropriately because we didn’t know when we were getting more.

5 tests! Could you imagine?!

Back in March, the patient had to have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a cough, AND a sore throat before we would even consider a test. Then, we were only testing patients who were either older (greater than 60 years of age) or patients who had severe chronic conditions (COPD on oxygen, Heart Failure, etc). If you didn’t fit the age/chronic condition category, you didn’t get a test!

Side note: Don’t forget that I practice Family Medicine so my criteria for testing will always be different than someone in the hospital.

And here we are, 5 months later, with a much different picture.

Thankfully, the supply of covid tests appear infinite and for the last 3 months, we’ve been about to test whoever wants to be tested, no matter their age, symptoms, or past medical history.

And now, within the last 2 weeks, we have rapid testing, which means you get your result in 15 minutes instead of 3-10 business days! Wow!

So now, no matter your demographics, your symptoms, your past medical history, or your insurance, you can get a rapid covid test anytime that you want!

Think you’ve been exposed? Get a test!

Curious? Get a test!

Don’t feel well? Get a test!

Bored and need something to do? Get a test! Haha!

Who can get a test? Anyone!

What kind of test can you get? Either a send out test (that detects dead or live coronavirus) that takes 3-10 business days or a rapid test (that detects only live virus) that takes only 15 minutes to get a result.

When can you get the test? Anytime!

Where can you get the test? Anywhere!

Here in Fayetteville, NC my company (Goshen Medical, which has over 40 locations in the state of NC) offers both send out and rapid testing. There’s also an urgent care called NextCare (a large chain with multiple locations) also has rapid testing.

Our company will also coordinate with local churches in NC for covid-19 testing so check with your local church too!

Why should you get the test? For any reason that you can think of. Take care of an elderly family member? You should get tested. Think you had an exposure? Get tested. Feel sick? Get tested. Going back to school/work? Get tested.

You don’t have to take the covid-19 test. I’m just letting you know that you can!

As a family medicine PA, I will tell you that covid-19 test results always surprise me.

I’ve seen some people with ZERO symptoms come up positive. I’ve seen people with ALL of the symptoms come up negative. And I’ve seen people who are in between. Maybe they have some symptoms but it turns out they have strep throat. I’ve seen others with some symptoms and they end up with a “common cold” diagnosis when they leave my office. Some have nothing more than an ear ache and they end up positive.

In 5 months, we went from testing almost no one to testing everyone. Imagine where we’ll be in another 5 months? Maybe we’ll be administering the vaccine!

Keep the hope, not the fear.

Keep the positivity, not the fear.

And keep believing that Jesus is doing miraculous things behind the scenes.

Stay safe everyone and if you haven’t already, go get tested!

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