Originally published January 4. Updated January 11.
The increase in prevalence of the virus has led to a testing demand that has outpaced capacity. Yesterday, lines all over the country, including here in Bennington and nearby Berkshire County, were lengthy. We are working hard to meet demand and pursuing new opportunities for improvement, including working with the state for additional resources. We are also working to distribute helpful information that will help people decide what test they should get and when. During this time of high viral transmission, it is unlikely that we will be able to test everyone as quickly and easily as we have in the past. We appreciate your patience.
Please revisit this resource for information about if you should test and what test you should use. Note that if you’ve tested positive with a PCR test within the last 90 days and are looking to end isolation, a repeat PCR test is likely to remain positive even if you are no longer infectious. This is because PCR tests are very sensitive to pieces of the virus that may remain in your system. Use an antigen test instead. You should only get a PCR test within 90 days of a positive test if instructed by your physician.
Additional specifics about each type of test can be found in the table below and here. Note that all tests, both clinic-based and home tests, are in short supply. Please do not go to ExpressCare or the Emergency Department to seek testing, unless you are sick and need to be seen by a provider.
(Click image to download or print)
Directions for what to do after you receive your results depend on what type of test you used and why. Refer to the table below for guidance.
(Click image to download or print. Download includes upper chart, as well.)
Trey Dobson, MD, is chief medical officer at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, VT, and an emergency medicine physician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health in Lebanon, NH.