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Borrego Testing for COVID-19

 

Last updated 5/29/2020 at 2:26pm



A drive-through site for COVID-19 testing, a safe way to identify cases, was conducted by the Borrego Medical Clinic in the small town of Borrego Springs.

About 150 samples were collected in the span of three days, from May 14 to May 16 at The Mall, and those who took the tests were expected to receive their results in five to seven business days.

However, these results have not been released to the town, but it is unclear if the results have been released to the County yet. According to the sandiegocounty.gov website, the total of cases in town is two. But one Borregan notified the town via Facebook that they tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to three, as of May 22.

These tests are very low-contact screening, preventing healthcare centers and ERs from being overcrowded. The drive-through testing swabs for COVID-19, which has taken over the world with 1,634,743 confirmed cases. There have also been 97,182 deaths since the virus was tracked. Over 380,000 people have recovered from the virus.

The drive-thru site was open to the public, whether you showed symptoms or not, but those who made appointments with the clinic had priority.

Those who were not registered patients of the clinic were still able to be tested, but had to provide additional information. Most insurances were accepted, but the clinic provided payment options.

Some people who took the test said it took about 10 – 15 minutes from start to finish, and was fairly simple.

Patients drove up to the site, and medical personnel from Borrego Medical Clinic administered the test via car window. In the waiting period, it was encouraged to self-quarantine, in the case the test came back positive.

The collection of a specimen is similar to what occurs when you’re checked for strep throat. Symptomatic patients were being tested, based on symptoms including fevers, chills, cough or shortness of breath. People who test positive should isolate themselves, drink fluids, watch their fever and take care of themselves. But they should avoid seeking emergency medical treatment unless it is warranted — for example, for shortness of breath. (For more, see the CDC’s guidance on what to do if you are sick).

This was not the antibody test, which has been said that it is being worked on to be made available to town soon, but no official timeline has been indicated.

The antibody test looks for antibodies, which shows if you had a previous infection by the virus. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the test may not find antibodies in someone with a current COVID-19 infection. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose someone as being currently sick with COVID-19. To see if you have a current infection, you need a viral test, which checks respiratory samples, such as a swab from inside your nose. These tests are available through healthcare providers and laboratories.

If you test positive:

A positive test result shows you have antibodies that likely resulted from an infection with SARS-CoV-2, or possibly a related coronavirus.

It’s unclear if those antibodies can provide protection (immunity) against getting infected again. This means that we do not know at this time if antibodies make you immune to the virus.

If you have no symptoms, you likely do not have an active infection and no additional follow-up is needed.

If you have symptoms and meet other guidelines for testing, you would need another type of test called a nucleic acid test, or viral test. This test uses respiratory samples, such as a swab from inside your nose, to confirm COVID-19. An antibody test cannot tell if you are currently sick with COVID-19.

It’s possible you might test positive for antibodies and you might not have or have ever had symptoms of COVID-19. This is known as having an asymptomatic infection, or an infection without symptoms.

If you test negative:

If you test negative for COVID-19 antibodies, you probably did not have a previous infection that has gotten better. However, you could have a current infection. It’s possible you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently, since antibodies don’t show up for one to three weeks after infection. This means you could still spread the virus.

Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people may not develop antibodies.

If you have symptoms and meet other guidelines for testing, you would need another type of test called a nucleic acid test, or viral test. This test uses respiratory samples, such as a swab from inside your nose, to confirm COVID-19. An antibody test cannot tell if you are currently sick with COVID-19.

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