COVID-19 Testing

Now that we have a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in our area, everyone wants accurate and fast testing. Here’s the most common questions and the most up-to-date answers, as of Thursday, July 16.

 

What types of tests are there?

Type of Test Description Pros Cons Where Offered
PCR Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests amplify and detect a small piece of the virus DNA to determine whether a person has an active infection. This is the most accurate test. When processed in a lab, results can take up to 96 hours. The hospital, both hospital and state pop-up testing sites, and some clinics 
Antigen Approved for emergency use by the FDA for screening larger populations in the effort to identify the rate of active infection, this test detects pieces of coronavirus proteins in an effort to identify active infection. This test offers fast results, within 30 minutes in some cases. It is especially good when there is widespread infection in a community.   The test is less accurate than PCR, especially when specimens are taken from those who do not have symptoms.  Some clinics 
Antibody/Serology This blood tests measures whether you’ve had an immune response to COVID in the past and is not useful for determining current infection. Could indicate past infections and immunity, but it is too early to know for sure. Requires lab blood draw, doesn’t measure current infection. Locally, the SVMC Lab

 

Who should get tested and where?

The information in the grid below is most useful with two definitions:

  • To quarantine means that you stay at home, monitor symptoms daily, and call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms.
  • An exposure refers to an instance when a person has been within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 or is likely to have COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more.
     
IF YOU: HERE’S HOW TO GET TESTED:
Have symptoms

Contact your healthcare provider to ask about a test or attend a pop-up testing event. Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here.

Are in quarantine because of travel guidance or because of a single suspected case

Quarantine for 7 days after the last exposure, then contact your healthcare provider to ask about a test or attend a pop-up testing event. Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here. Alternatively, you can quarantine for 14 days with no testing.

Have been in close physical contact—within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes, especially unmasked—several times over the last 7 or more days

Contact your healthcare provider to ask about a test or attend a pop-up testing event. Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here.

Need a test to prepare for a medical procedure

Arrange a test through the healthcare provider who is doing your procedure.

Have no symptoms and are not in quarantine

Attend a pop-up testing event.  Testing locations, including state pop-up testing dates, times, and locations are listed here.

 

Why should I wait 7 days after a single possible exposure?
It takes your body some time to create a measurable load of virus. Those who wait 7 days after a single possible exposure are more likely to get an accurate result. Testing too early can lead to a false negative.

What is the cost?
Health insurers are required to cover diagnostic testing at no cost share to patients in cases where an individual’s health care provider determines testing is needed based on symptoms or suspected exposure. For uninsured patients, testing that meets these criteria will be submitted to the HRSA uninsured program for payment. Testing performed for travel or return-to-work-or-school purposes is not considered medically necessary and, therefore, may not be covered by insurance. If you are having testing performed for reasons other than symptoms or suspected exposure, we recommend you contact your insurance for coverage guidelines, as you may be responsible for payment.

Do I need a referral?
Referrals are not needed for state or SVMC pop-up testing. A referral is required for a test at SVMC’s main campus in Bennington.

Do I need an appointment?
No appointment is needed for state or SVMC pop-up testing. An appointment is required for a test at SVMC’s main campus in Bennington.

When will I get results and how?
See the “types of tests” grid above for how quickly you will get results. How you will get results varies based on where you receive your test and, sometimes, whether the test is positive or negative. The testing organization will provide information about how results will be delivered at the time of the test.

What should I do after I get tested?
Follow these instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any directions you receive from the organization administering the test. The bottom line is that you should self-quarantine until your results are known.

What if my test result is positive?
f your exposure is confirmed through contact tracing or with a positive test, you will hear from a contact tracer. The contact tracer will be interested in how you are doing and whether you are at risk of serious illness. They will gather information to verify your identity and so that they can continue to monitor and support you and your family.

Note that contact tracing is free. If someone claims to need payment information, they are not a contact tracer.

The contact tracer will recommend testing, if you have not already done so, and quarantine and provide information about each in addition to resources you may need to meet your needs during this time.

More information about contact tracing can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/contact-tracing.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/notification-of-exposure.html. Their aim is to help you get the help you need and to determine who else may be affected.

What if I have COVID-19 questions that were not addressed here?
all the SVMC COVID-19 Info Hotline at 802-440-8844.

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SVHC TODAY: Virtual COVID Q & A for Bennington Read more

SVHC TODAY: Virtual COVID Q & A for Bennington

10/6/2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) will bring its clinical experts to residents of Bennington nearby towns during a region-specific COVID Q & A virtual event 5:30 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 6 on the Zoom platform. Attendees are encouraged to register and submit their questions in advance here

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SVHC TODAY: Virtual COVID Q & A for Bennington Read more

SVHC TODAY: Virtual COVID Q & A for Bennington

10/6/2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) will bring its clinical experts to residents of Bennington nearby towns during a region-specific COVID Q & A virtual event 5:30 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 6 on the Zoom platform. Attendees are encouraged to register and submit their questions in advance here

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