COVID-19 Guidance: From Testing to Treatment
Though we're two years into the pandemic, there are still many patients who may have never tested positive for COVID. And with so much time past, some patients still ask for guidance on when to get tested, what to do if they test positive, and what treatment options are available.
Learn what your testing options are for COVID-19 and how to handle receiving positive results.
Your Testing Options at Pinnacle HealthCare
If you haven’t been knowingly exposed to COVID-19 in the past, you may not be familiar with the testing options available to you. Here is a quick review of the tests we offer at Pinnacle HealthCare:
Molecular COVID-19 tests detect the genetic material or nucleic acid (RNA) present inside a virus particle. These tests check for ribonucleic acid (RNA), or polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
During this test, we will use a nasal or throat swab to give same-day results. PCR tests are more costly than the other testing options, but they are ideal for those who require a result to return to school or work, and those traveling and who need a quicker result.
Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Testing
A rapid antigen COVID-19 test molecules on the surface of the coronavirus and has been most commonly used to diagnose patients who may be asymptomatic.
At the appointment, our team will use a nose swab to take your sample, and we’ll run the sample, giving results in as short as 15 minutes. It’s important to note that false negatives are possible with this test, though positive test results are highly accurate.
Rapid Antibody COVID-19 Testing
In contrast to antigen tests, COVID-19 antibody tests track antibodies, which are formed by your body’s immune system to fight off infection. An antibody test can tell you if you have been in contact with the novel coronavirus in the past — not show current infection.
During the antibody test, our team will take a small sample of your blood via a finger prick.
When Should I Get a COVID-19 Test?
According to the CDC, you should consider getting a COVID-19 test if:
- If you experience flu-like symptoms.
- If you are unvaccinated and believe you were exposed (immediately.)
- If you are vaccinated and believe you were exposed 5-7 days ago.
- If you are unvaccinated and work in a public space.
- If a loved one has recently tested positive.
How to Manage Your Test Results
Remember, you should stay home and quarantine until you receive the results of your COVID-19 test. If your PCR test is negative and you have no symptoms, you can feel confident returning to work or your regular schedule. However, you may choose to use caution, social distance, and wear your mask around others.
If your test comes back positive, you should continue to isolate yourself from any members of your household to avoid spreading the virus. If you are unvaccinated, you should isolate for five days and continue mask-wearing for another five days afterward. Patients should stay home and be isolated until their fever resolves, regardless of vaccination status. You should isolate yourself at home for five to ten days if you are asymptomatic or your symptoms are improving.
This means that you are fever-free without the use of medication, and symptoms such as coughing and migraines are resolved. Some symptoms of COVID-19 may linger, such as fatigue and loss of senses and do not require further isolation.
Note: Stay up to date on current CDC guidelines and speak to your doctor about updated or recommended isolation protocols.
If you do test positive for COVID-19, the best medicine is typically rest and fluids. However, patients may also choose to take a mix of vitamins B, C, and D, as well as zinc to boost their immune system. You may also choose to take a cough expectorant and acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever relief.
If your symptoms are not resolving, you should speak to your doctor to inquire about further treatment options to help expedite your recovery.
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment at Pinnacle HealthCare
If you believe that you may have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and wish to be tested at Pinnacle HealthCare, contact our team today: (831) 387-7177.
Contact one of our offices today for additional information regarding how we are keeping our community, patients, and staff safe during these unprecedented times.