Home Health News COVID-19 testing in Alabama: Everything you need to know

COVID-19 testing in Alabama: Everything you need to know

10 min read

The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains an inventory of check websites throughout the state and a set of recommendations on when to get examined and what to do whereas awaiting your outcomes.

Below is a abstract of these suggestions.

When ought to you get examined?

If you are experiencing widespread symptoms of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or issue respiratory, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of style or scent, sore throat, congestion or runny nostril, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea — the ADPH recommends you obtain a nasal swab check to decide if you have COVID-19.

If you have doubtlessly been uncovered to another person with COVID-19, however are usually not experiencing signs your self, ADPH recommends ready 3-4 days after that publicity earlier than getting examined. It can take the virus a number of days to reproduce and unfold in a person’s body earlier than it reaches ranges that may present up on the check.

If you get examined too early, earlier than the virus spreads all through your complete body, you might check unfavorable when you even have the illness.

Where can you go to get examined?

ADPH updates its list of test sites together with the state’s dashboard of COVID circumstances. The itemizing consists of addresses and telephone numbers of the check websites, and is searchable. To discover the positioning nearest you, click on on the link above, then the tab that claims “Test sites.” That exhibits a statewide listing of greater than 250 check websites.

Then, sort the title of your county or nearest metropolis in the search bar and overview the closest choices. Clicking the handle link ought to take you to a Google map if you are unfamiliar with the handle location.

Many check websites provide testing by appointment solely. Those can be famous on the desk beneath the “Hours” area. Some of the websites on the desk are usually not at present providing checks. Those are famous as properly.

It might be a good suggestion to name the services that supply testing earlier than arriving. Some websites have reported lengthy wait instances and every facility might have protocols in place to restrict the potential publicity to different folks.

Which type of check?

There are a number of choices for testing these days, however ADPH recommends that individuals making an attempt to decide whether or not they have the illness proper now use a nasal swab check.

That consists of the usual PCR checks which have been accessible since March, or the newer rapid-response checks, additionally known as antigen checks. Both checks use nasal swabs to search for proof of an an infection in your body. The PCR checks have to be despatched to a lab for processing, so it takes a day or two at minimal (generally longer, if labs are backed up), however they’re additionally extra delicate. The PCR checks bear a course of in the lab that grows and multiplies any viral particles present in your pattern and can return constructive outcomes even when there are decrease ranges of virus in your body.

The fast checks provide outcomes in a couple of minutes, however might miss constructive circumstances if a person has a low viral load on the time they’re examined.

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris stated the division classifies individuals who check constructive via the fast checks as probable cases, however that’s largely to be sure that its knowledge is constant in monitoring the outbreak.

“This has caused a tremendous amount of confusion and unfortunately, it really just has to do with the technical language used by epidemiologists,” Harris stated in September. “A probable case is not a case that we have less confidence in the diagnosis. It’s simply a way that we count cases and make sure we’re comparing apples to apples from one state to the next.”

There is one other sort of check accessible, that checks a person’s blood for antibodies to struggle the virus. However, that’s extra reflective of whether or not a person had COVID in the previous, not essentially whether or not they have COVID now. ADPH doesn’t suggest the blood checks for figuring out whether or not you have the virus and could also be contagious.

After you get examined

While you await the outcomes of your check, it will be significant to stay as remoted as doable till the outcomes come again.

If you have cause to imagine you could also be contaminated, both due to your signs, or as a result of you’ve had shut contact with a person who was contaminated, ADPH says it’s vital to isolate your self to keep away from infecting different folks, even when you don’t really feel sick.

A person who has the virus could also be contagious earlier than they start to expertise signs. That’s one cause the virus is spreading so quickly, as a result of folks can transmit it to others after they really feel properly.

ADPH says {that a} person’s check outcomes will embody suggestions on when to depart isolation and return to work or regular actions.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention additionally recommends {that a} person monitor their signs whereas awaiting check outcomes and start eager about who they might have had shut contact (nearer than six toes aside for greater than 15 minutes) with over the previous 14 days. If the check comes again constructive, these people must be notified in order that they are often examined as properly.

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