The COVID Hotline’s Most Commonly Asked Questions
Ashley Jowett
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2021

The COVID Hotline’s Most Commonly Asked Questions

As cases rise, so do calls to the COVID-19 Info Hotline. We checked in with Director of Clinical Services for the D-H Putnam Medical Group Katharine Green, BSN, RN, and the nurses who answer your calls to learn what questions you are asking and their answers.

What are the hours of the COVID Resource Center?
Visit svhealthcare.org/COVID-Resource-Center for hours.   

What if I am exposed? What do I do?

  • If you have symptoms, get tested as soon as possible, regardless of your vaccination status and quarantine until those results become available.
  • If you have no symptoms and you are vaccinated, get tested 3 – 5 days after the last exposure and wear a mask when in public until you know your results. If positive, follow the directions provided at the testing site.
  • If you have no symptoms and you are not vaccinated, quarantine for 7 days and get tested on or as close as possible to day seven. Even if you test negative before day seven, you will need another test on day seven to ensure that the results are accurate.

Do I need a referral for COVID testing?
No. If you have symptoms or think you have been exposed, you should be tested. No referral is required. When you schedule online or register for a drive-up test, be sure to indicate your primary care office; so they will get a copy of your results. If you test positive, call your primary care office; because they may have individualized treatment recommendations based on your risk factors.

What sort of testing does the COVID Resource Center provide?
We provide a PCR test, which is the standard for reliability and the type of test most institutions require for the purposes of verifying that you are eligible to return to work or school. Other types of tests are available in other locations, but this is most likely the best test for you.

Do I need an appointment for COVID testing?
Having an appointment makes COVID testing faster for you and your neighbors. Schedule ahead at
svhealthcare.org/COVID-Resource-Center. Not only are we able to space patients out, when you schedule online, you complete your consent electronically in the comfort of your home, instead of using a pen and paper in your car. This minimizes legibility errors. Plus, we can have the labels we use to mark your test tubes all printed out in advance, rather than having to write them out. Finally, you can indicate your primary care provider’s office, so they will receive the results automatically and be able to recommend important treatments more quickly. If you hit a snag scheduling or need an appointment right away, please use the drive-up appointment-free option. It’s more important to get the test when you need it than it is to have an appointment.

It seems like all of the scheduled appointments are taken? What do I do?
If the COVID Resource Center is open, please drive up for testing.

My COVID test is negative, but I am really sick. What do I do?
COVID-19 is not the only disease. Flu, pneumonia, strep throat, and other serious conditions can make you feel awful. If you are feeling sick, even with a respiratory illness, it could be something else. Call your primary care provider and get some help.

When do I get my results?
Most tests results are returned within 24 – 36 hours, but we are routinely returning them sooner. How soon you get your results depends on how many specimens are collected during that day and other factors.

How do I get my results?
There are so many easy and convenient ways to get your results. Read about them all here:
https://svhealthcare.org/Wellness-Connection/accessing-your-covid-test-results.

I tested positive. What should I do?
If you test positive, follow the directions for isolation at
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html. Also, let your primary care provider know, as they may have individualized treatment recommendations for you.

When can I discontinue isolation?
Isolation and precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the first positive viral test and after resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms. Ten days is necessary even if you receive a negative test after your positive one. See
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html for details.

What’s the difference between a vaccine and a booster?
For adults, the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and booster are identical. It is the same medication, the same preparation, and the same amount. For Moderna, the booster is the same medicine in a half dose. For children, the Pfizer vaccine is 1/3 of the adult dose.

Can I choose what booster I get?
Yes, you can. See advice from SVMC Infectious Disease Specialist Marie George, MD, FIDSA,
here.

Can I get my COVID and flu shots at the same time?
Yes. The COVID Resource Center is not providing flu shots at this time, but you can get both at most primary care practices and pharmacies.

If your question isn't answered here, call the COVID-19 Info Hotline at 802-440-8844 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. 

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