Eventide Health in Friday Harbor: COVID-19 testing update

We're getting questions daily about testing. Because of a severe shortage of testing supplies, CDC has some new guidance on ending self isolation after symptoms resolve without a test and whom should be tested. We need to be testing far more patients but simply can't currently.

Dr. House has been doing all testing personally in the parking lot only (to avoid exposing Eventide Health staff or other clinics patients). We will continue to do parking lot testing.

We will continue to provide telemedicine visits and in person visits as appropriate. Telemedicine visits are proving to be easy and efficient. Guidelines can change at a moment's notice. Thanks for cooperating so well. We're doing our best in what was already a challenging season for us with the clinic transition.

GUIDANCE ON TESTING PRIORITIES:

"...To preserve specimen collection and testing supplies for patients who may develop severe COVID-19 illness over the coming months... ... Individuals who will be tested must be symptomatic (fever or respiratory symptoms) and fall into one of the following high-risk categories:

• Those who are hospitalized

• Health care workers

• First responders (e.g., EMS Police, Fire,)

• Those living in a congregate setting (e.g., LTCFs, group homes, assisted living facilities, jails, shelters)

• Patients older than 60 years

• Patients with underlying medical conditions...

GUIDANCE ON SELF ISOLATION WITHOUT TESTING:

"...All asymptomatic close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home (self-quarantine) for 14 days from the last day of exposure.

For individuals with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 who are not tested, or who are awaiting their test results:

• self-isolate until

At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND

At least 72 hours (3 days) have passed since recovery – which is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms. Any symptomatic close contacts should follow the same guidance as a close contact..."

...Individuals whose symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 but who do not fall into one of these high-risk categories should be evaluated and isolated at home. Testing is not recommended for those individuals with mild fever or respiratory symptoms who are not in a high-risk category because:

1. Presenting for testing potentially exposes the public, healthcare workers, and vulnerable persons to COVID-19.

2. Confirming infection does not change how most illness is managed.

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