I’m going to walk you through getting set up to be tested for the coronavirus and how – from personal experience – it’s not nearly as difficult, scary, or time consuming than I would’ve thought.
And first, when it comes to COVID-19, we understand. It’s nonstop. You may feel like you’re constantly bombarded with information. But we believe providing useful action-oriented resources and information to those in our extended network can be incredibly helpful.
For example, two weeks ago, we shared a few concrete ways you can provide assistance in parts of the Santa Monica and West LA area (our office home) that have been affected. Those links are still great places to start if you’re looking to help out.
Many members of our staff also donated to those on the frontlines through the CDC early on and have found that taking action is so much more therapeutic than just falling victim to the chaos. Of course, they are still accepting donations.
But back to the testing procedure. I personally have two at-risk parents who I need to see for various reasons, particularly on the weekends. I’m sure I’m not alone in being, myself, low-risk but afraid of spreading the virus.
Also, I have friends and family who have felt sick but don’t know what course of action to take. I think in general, it’s very difficult to figure out whether one should get tested. Especially when it seems like tests aren’t widely available.
Do the research on your local municipality or town, but I do know, in general, there are way more tests available now than there were a month or so ago.
In the LA County area, which Ad Purp and I call home, free testing is available at https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs.
A few clicks and very little personal information is all that’s required to get set up with a time slot where you can get tested. No insurance or healthcare information is required. I was tested a couple weeks ago and received my results in about 5 days via email.
I’ve gone to the pharmacy and a few essential trips here and there. I also felt a little under the weather recently, so I am planning to get tested again this weekend.
I personally went to The Forum in Inglewood and they had an entire drive-through operation. I never stepped foot outside of my vehicle and the entire process took about 10 minutes. There were a lot of geographical options available besides The Forum, but that one was most convenient.
If you’re afraid of getting that painful test often seen online where the swab goes deep into the naval cavity by your throat, do not fear. Not all states and local areas are utilizing that specific test. You’ll also know by following the links to your state or municipality what test to expect and how much time it will take to go through with the procedure.
I was given a swab by a person in a full hazmat suit, gloves and face covering. I broke open the seal, took the swab and after coughing three times hard into my arm, I was then told to rub the swab on my cheeks for 15 seconds each, then to rub the roof of my mouth with the swab.
I felt zero pain whatsoever. Then I drove a bit further and personally dropped my test kit into a bin that was far removed from any healthcare workers or administrators. My results came back 5 days later and were negative.
If you are at all worried about using a test that you think you might not need, speak with your doctor. But while many websites said to only get tested if you have symptoms, even that is starting to be relaxed a bit in the recent days.
Remember, even negative results help the medicine and science community. The more people that are tested, the better the data is on the virus and how it’s spreading.
You might have heard not all tests are accurate. While that is a valid concern, scientists and doctors have concluded that a larger sample size of tests still helps out in deciphering whether that is true.
I think a lot of people have felt they didn’t want to get tested, and they had the notion that people who need the tests are not going to be able to be tested if they do. This may have been the case in the early stages of the quarantine, but no longer.
Of course, if you’re 20 years old, have no symptoms, and don’t plan on seeing anyone or having to leave your apartment that you live in alone, maybe you should not get tested. But if you at all feel sick or have circumstantial reasons to do so, you should very much get the test.
Stay safe out there and let’s all do our very best to get through this.