Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing and Vaccines

News and updates regarding Doctors Care and coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19 Testing

Can I get tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) at Doctors Care?

Yes! COVID-19 testing is available at ALL of our open locations across the state of South Carolina. We offer rapid molecular tests as well as PCR send-out laboratory tests.

If you get a rapid test, you’ll receive your test results during your visit. Rapid molecular testing with same-day results is subject to availability.

You may also be tested for seasonal flu or strep throat during your visit. In certain situations, a PCR send-out test may be administered. Timeframes for receiving results from send-out diagnostic tests will depend on current lab volumes across the state at the time of your test.

Before you visit a center, please check our locations page to verify the hours of operation.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

For non-emergency cases, visit www.DoctorsCare.com/Anywhere for virtual care.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately by dialing 9-1-1. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

What do I do if I have symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you have developed symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, we recommend rapid molecular testing at any open Doctors Care location as soon as you can.

Before you visit a center, please check our locations page to verify hours of operation.

In certain situations a PCR send-out test may be administered, and timeframes for receiving results from send-out diagnostic tests will depend on current lab volumes across the state at the time of your test.

Rapid molecular testing with same-day results is subject to availability.

What do I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 we highly recommend you visit Doctors Care Anywhere, our virtual urgent care platform first. This is to limit possible further exposure of COVID-19 to our staff and other patients in our centers.

Our Doctors Care Anywhere virtual urgent care providers are available and can refer you to a convenient Doctors Care center for immediate assistance with swab-testing.

Access Doctors Care Anywhere virtual urgent care here.

When should I get tested after potential exposure to COVID-19?

It usually takes a few days after exposure to produce a positive COVID-19 test result. At this time, there are no firm numbers for exactly how long it takes to get an accurate positive test result. The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is typically around 2 to 14 days. Most people’s symptoms appear around day five, on average. Therefore, it’s recommended that you wait to get tested for at least two to three days after potential exposure. Some health experts say five days after exposure might be a good testing point, since that’s the median time when symptoms usually appear. If you test too soon, you may not have enough virus in your system for detection by our test.

Can I receive COVID-19 testing for travel clearance or to return to work?

For patients who require testing for the following:

  • Return-to-work testing
  • Travel testing
  • Asymptomatic testing
  • Exposure to COVID-19 testing

We recommend you visit Doctors Care Anywhere, our virtual urgent care platform where our online providers will refer you to a convenient Doctors Care center for immediate assistance with swab-testing.

Doctors Care is happy to provide testing for clearance purposes, however, please be aware that most insurance plans do not cover this type of testing because it’s not considered “medically necessary.” Because of this, most patients will be billed the self-pay rate for diagnostic testing (instead of filing insurance) of $150 to receive this service.

What kind of test will I receive?

Doctors Care offers two types of diagnostic tests. You may receive either a rapid molecular test, or a PCR send-out laboratory test.

The Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid molecular test requires a simple nasal swab and provides results in about 15 minutes. If rapid tests aren’t available due to supply chain issues, then a PCR send-out test can be conducted. We have partnerships with many professional labs for send-out tests. Timeframes for receiving results from send-out diagnostic tests will depend on current lab volumes across the state at the time of your test.

What do I do after being tested?

If you received a test in one of our centers you’ll have spoken with a provider on any necessary treatment, and will have received patient education on how to self-isolate. If you received a send-out test and are waiting for your test results, you must quarantine yourself at home and away from others. Please refer to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/ for information on how to care for yourself at home and minimize exposure risks to family or friends

How will I get my test results?

If you come to one of our centers for a COVID-19 rapid molecular test, you will receive your results during your office visit. The test takes about 15 minutes to complete. You may also be given a rapid test for flu or strep throat, and will receive those results during your visit. It will take about 24-48 hours after your test for your results to be viewable in your patient portal. You will be able to print the test documentation after the results appear in the patient portal.

To register for our patient portal and monitor your testing results, respond to the email link you should have received after your visit. You may also go to doctorscare.com/patientportal/ and register for an account, or login to your existing account.

How long should I isolate or not go to work?

The CDC provides up-to-date guidance on isolation duration based on certain criteria, please refer to the links below for guidelines when considering these questions.

Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html

Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/return-to-work.html

Discontinuation of Isolation for Patients with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html

Are there any changes to your hours or open center locations?

Nearly all of our centers are open at this time. In some regions, select centers are operating under abbreviated hours in order to consolidate staffing and supplies at more centrally located centers to best continue providing the care and services our patients need and deserve.

Visit DoctorsCare.com/locate to find an open location near you.

What is Doctors Care doing to ensure patient safety?

Doctors Care continues to take extra precautions around stringent disinfection and social distancing protocols.  We require all patients wear a face-covering while in our centers to help limit the risk of exposure to other patients and staff.

Click here for more on how we are protecting our patients and staff.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Select Doctors Care locations are participating in the state of South Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Patients must be registered in the VAMS portal to sign-up for a vaccination appointment with Doctors Care.

We offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5) to patients ages 12 and up.

For information on how and where to find participating COVID-19 vaccination sites near you, please visit https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/.

You can also call DHEC’s Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 for answers to vaccine related questions and help finding participating providers. The Vaccine Information Line is operating 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week.

Scan the QR code with your mobile device or use the button below to access the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). VAMS allows you to create an account to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments. If you choose not to create an account, you can register for a COVID-19 vaccination as a guest.

This button will take you to the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). VAMS allows you to create an account to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments. If you choose not to create an account, you can register for a COVID-19 vaccination as a guest.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Can I come to Doctors Care for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Select Doctors Care locations offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5)

For information on how and where to find participating COVID-19 vaccination sites near you, please visit https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are available to Doctors Care?

We offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5) to patients who have received all primary series doses. Patients are eligible for the booster at least 2 months after 2nd dose or last booster. Patients must register for an appointment through the CDC using the Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS) to be eligible to receive the vaccine at any participating location.

For information on how and where to find participating COVID-19 vaccination sites near you, please visit https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/.

Will I be charged for the vaccine?

No. Costs for the vaccine will be covered by the federal government. Any additional administrative fees will be filed to your insurance, or covered by the federal government.

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

We offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent (Original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5) to patients ages 12 and up.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for children and teens?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and teens. Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 emergency authorization to use in children ages 5-15 and full approval for people 16 years and older. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks.

I've heard COVID-19 is mild for most kids. Do they really need to be vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVID-19 and protect your family, too. Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes it, can get sick from it and can spread the virus to others.

How well does the COVID-19 vaccine work for kids?

The data the drug companies presented to the FDA showed that the vaccine was 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID-19. The antibody response to the vaccine was comparable to the response seen in people 16 to 25 years old..

Will I have side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects can occur with any vaccination or medication. Typically minor, side effects can be sore arm or low-grade fever, and will usually go away within a few days.

COVID-19 vaccines were not approved until clinical trials took place and showed they were safe and effective. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people show they worked as intended with no serious side effects.

Please note that side effects indicate your immune system is responding to the vaccine, and these side effects are common with vaccinations.

What are some common side effects for children who receive the vaccine?

Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. At the site of the shot, there could be:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Other possible effects:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

These side effects should go away in a few days. Some children have no side effects, and severe side effects are very rare. Ask your child’s health care provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home after your child gets vaccinated. In general, aspirin is not recommended for use in children and adolescents younger than 18 years. Placing a cool, damp cloth on the injection site can help with discomfort

Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

COVID-19 can have serious and life-threatening complications, so if you get sick, you can spread the disease to family, friends and others around you. The COVID-19 vaccine works along with your immune system so you can protect yourself against the virus if exposed. This vaccine is an important tool in helping to stop the pandemic.

If I’m prone to severe allergic reactions, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. You should not get the vaccine if you have severe/anaphylactic allergic reactions to the components of the vaccine or to other injections.

Most experts agree, however, that allergies to peanuts, eggs, shellfish, etc. are not a contraindication.

If I’m pregnant, can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, but they should talk to their doctor first. Vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant women who meet criteria based on recommended priority groups according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Please note, no pregnant women were included in the clinical trials at the time of the first dose. Experts say pregnant women have an increased risk of severe illness if they have COVID-19, and are at risk for an adverse pregnancy outcome, such as preterm birth.

Why are there multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Clinical trials showed the vaccine was approximately 50% effective after one dose and 95% effective after two doses.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends the third dose, booster COVID-19 vaccine bivalent be administered to anyone 12 years of age or older. With the Omicron variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and cases of COVID-19 increasing significantly across the United States, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.

Do I still need to wear a mask and practice social distancing if I get vaccinated?

The CDC has explicitly stated that its recent guidance around fully vaccinated people not needing to wear masks was NOT intended for healthcare settings. Therefore,  we ask that all patients continue to wear masks while visiting any of our locations. While the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it has been determined that you can still carry and transmit the virus. For information on the CDC guidance, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

If I already had COVID-19, do I need to wait 90 days to get vaccinated?

You can get the vaccine if you are not in quarantine or exhibiting symptoms, but you should speak to your primary health care provider first.

If I test positive after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, should I receive the second dose?

You can get the second dose of the vaccine after you have completed your quarantine and no longer exhibiting symptoms, but you should speak to your primary health care provider first.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine offer long-term protection?

Additional research is needed to answer this question, however it is reassuring that available data suggests most people who recover from COVID-19 develop an immune response which provides at least some protection against reinfection. Although, we are still learning about the strength of this protection and how long it lasts.

What ingredients are in the COVID-19 vaccines?

Doctors Care is administering the Pfizer vaccine. It is important to know that you cannot become infected with COVID-19 by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These are inactive vaccines, not live-virus vaccines.

Pfizer vaccines contain the following ingredients:

  • A nucleotide-modified messenger RNA encoding the viral spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. This is what makes the vaccine work. It instructs the cells in the body on how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.
  • Lipids (fatty substances)
  • Potassium chloride (potassium and chlorine)
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate
  • Sodium chloride (salt)
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate
  • Sucrose (sugar)

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