COVID-19 Testing Results
We are required to report all positive COVID results to your local health department. They will likely be calling you to track down who else needs to be tested.
Your local health department will guide you with who they feel absolutely needs to get tested. We would encourage you to reach out to your employer and let them decide how they want to handle fellow employees.
The COVID test does not make your symptoms better or shorten the course of the illness. As of today, there also is no FDA approved outpatient treatment for this type of coronavirus. The test itself is mainly to help reduce the rate and number of transmissions of the virus. Employers many times need this test to decide who can safely return to work. Currently most children are not in school and many of their normal social outlets have been reduced. So, do children really need to get tested? The answer to who should be tested is found in the “Why?” Does the outcome of the test change the way you should live in this current pandemic? Does your spouse need the test to return to work? Does your child need a negative test to attend a camp, school, etc.? Will the person in question be spending time with somebody that is “at risk” for a poor outcome? If so, schedule them for a test. But if you have tested positive for COVID, and now your daughter who lives with you is starting to display symptoms, you should assume that she may have COVID and follow CDC guidelines. If she begins to look or act ill, then she should seek medical attention. Our position on this may change if, and hopefully when, an FDA approved treatment has been proven to be effective.
Integrity is here to serve our community, but we also want to be a leader in common sense and fiscally responsible medicine. Some individuals are testing positive for COVID and a week later being retested only to still be testing positive. Then they are returning per CDC guidelines to receive two more negative COVID tests. That is 4 tests and several days of lost time in work. Ultimately it is your employer’s decision, but as this pandemic continues, who will continue to pay for tests that are no longer for your health, but for your employers’ comfort? We are already seeing many of the major insurers question this practice. If your insurance does not pay, then the patient will likely be responsible. This obviously can get expensive quickly. We suggest that you give your employer the work note that we drew up and let them decide how they wish to proceed in your returning to work.
There are no perfect tests. The tests we perform at Integrity are near 99% accurate in a lab, but there are a lot of variables that could change that accuracy in real life. Did the patient fight us while we were attempting to get the swab? Was the patient too early or too late in the illness to get a good result? The bottom line is that if you have COVID suggestive symptoms and a negative test, you should continue to follow CDC guidelines and quarantine yourself until you feel better and are symptom free for 72 hours.
There are two genes the lab is trying to detect. If your results came back inconclusive it means that they only detected one of the two genes on your sample. We call these tests “presumptive positives.” This means you were likely either coming “out of” or going “in to” the illness the exact time the test was being performed. You should treat yourself as a positive patient and continue to follow CDC guidelines.
This is the million-dollar question right now. The medical community is hopeful that once you acquire COVID this year you may not get it again in this year, but the truth is nobody really knows yet. If we knew you could get COVID now, and this gave you immunity for later, then obviously we would all want to get tested soon for the antibodies to see if we are safe to go about our lives without spreading the virus around. Again, we are very hopeful that developing antibodies will be preventative, or at least make the next time you get the illness less of a disease for you, but this has not been proven yet.