Who, When, Where, Why, How to get Tested for COVID-19?
Updated: Mar 7
THIS IS AN OLD POST, SEE OUR NEWEST BLOG POST FROM 2/28/22 FOR UP TO DATE INFORMATION ON TRAVEL TESTING AND TESTING AVAILABILITY
Lakeside Pharmacy recently started offering rapid testing for COVID-19 -our tests do not qualify as travel tests. We have partnered with the Washington State Department of Health and Washington State Pharmacy Association to offer FREE testing for people who can answer yes to one of the following questions:
Do you have symptoms of COVID-19 (Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea)
Have you been exposed (been within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period) to someone who may have COVID or has a confirmed case of COVID?
Has a healthcare provider or a public health official told you to get tested?
If you can answer yes to these questions, you should click the link to schedule a Rapid Test - Exposed, Symptoms, Referred. If you answer no to all of the questions, you do not qualify for the free test but you can still get a test for a small fee and should click the link that says Rapid Test- No symptoms, no exposure. (Links for scheduling are available at the bottom of this post)
Some people have questions about testing so we thought we'd put some information together for you to help you make your decision. All of the information we share is from the Washington State Department of Health and/or the CDC. Links will be provided for you to access more information.
Should I get tested and When?
The CDC has an online tool to help you determine if you should get tested. You can find the online tool at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html#
The information below is from the following WA DOH website. You can access more information about underlined items below by going directly to the website and clicking those items for more information: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19
Why Get Tested
Testing saves lives. Testing allows people to take precautions, like quarantining, in a timely manner to stop the virus from spreading; infected people without symptoms can still spread the virus. Testing also helps public health officials identify and respond to outbreaks, and to track new variants of the virus. Testing is an important component in helping resume normal activities.
Researchers from the University of Washington and the Department of Health (DOH) found that testing for COVID-19 and tracking through WA Notify likely prevented about 6,000 cases from December 2020 to March 2021.
When to Get Tested
Seek testing if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who may be positive for COVID-19. You should get tested immediately if having symptoms, or 3-5 days after suspected exposure, even if you don’t experience any symptoms.
What do I do if I test positive?
Follow this link for up to date information and instructions from the Washington State Department of Health on what to do if you test positive:
The information below is from the CDC and can be found at the following link. You can access more information about the underlined items in the paragraph below by going to the website and clicking on those items individually : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html
If you test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, take the following steps to protect others regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status:
Isolate for at least 5 days. You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation). Day 0 is your first day of symptoms. You can also use a test-based strategy to end isolation.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days. Day 0 is the day the sample was collected for a positive test result.
Wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days after the end of your 5-day isolation period. Take additional precautions on days 6-10, such as avoiding travel and situations where you will come in contact with individuals at high risk for severe disease. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for 10 days.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for isolation.
Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are more likely to get very sick because of being an older adult or having underlying medical conditions or if your symptoms get worse.
What do I do if I test Negative?
The information below is from the CDC at the following link. You can access more information about the underlined items in the paragraph below by going to the website and clicking on those items individually: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html
If you test negative for the virus that causes COVID-19, the virus was not detected.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
You may have received a false negative test result and still might have COVID-19. You should isolate away from others.
Contact your healthcare provider about your symptoms, especially if they worsen, about follow-up testing, and how long to isolate.
If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, and you were a close contact to someone with COVID-19:
You are likely not infected, but you still may get sick.
Quarantine if you are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series, or if you have not received all recommended booster shots.
If symptoms develop during home quarantine, contact your healthcare provider about follow-up testing; and
Isolate at home separated away from others.
If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a known exposure to a person with COVID-19:
You do not need to quarantine.
We hope this helps answer some questions for you. If you determine that you need to get tested, you can make an appointment at our pharmacy by clicking the link you need below: