Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing and Information

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

Diagnostic Testing and Specimen Collection

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

Through our virtual visit app, Doctors Care Anywhere, our providers can now order testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) for patients who are currently experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. Testing does not occur in our centers. The address for our drive-thru specimen collection testing site will be shared with patients after they receive a testing order from one of our providers. Only patients with a scheduled appointment and official testing order will be admitted at the specimen collection site.

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

If you think you have been exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and have developed symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing, we encourage you to speak with a Doctors Care provider using the Doctors Care Anywhere virtual urgent care app. To prevent exposure to others, please do not come into a center.

Take the following steps to get healthy and protect those around you:

  • Stay home and isolate yourself from friends and family to prevent transmission
  • Take over-the-counter medicines at recommended doses to relieve pain and reduce fever
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep your hands clean by washing well with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your face

Who can be tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Only patients who have been screened through the Doctors Care Anywhere virtual urgent care platform can be referred by our providers for COVID-19 testing. Qualification for testing is based on strict clinical criteria outlined by the CDC and SC DHEC.

Because testing supplies are very limited, patients experiencing mild cold/flu symptoms, or who want to be tested for peace-of-mind do not currently qualify for testing.

Do I need an appointment to be tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Yes. Only patients with a scheduled appointment will be admitted at the collection sites. Appointments are made once a provider issues you a testing order.

How do I get an appointment to be tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you have been evaluated by a Doctors Care provider through the Doctors Care Anywhere virtual urgent care app and have been identified as someone who may be at risk for the coronavirus (COVID-19), our Doctors Care testing team will contact you to set up an appointment for a specimen collection testing site.

How does the Doctors Care Specimen Collection Testing Site work?

If you meet appropriate criteria for a testing order, our Doctor Care testing team will contact you with instructions for how to prepare and what to expect at the specimen collection site.

What do I do after being tested?

If you qualified for testing, it is reasonable to think you may be at risk for the coronavirus (COVID-19). While you are waiting for your test results, you must isolate yourself at home. 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 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

Will there be additional Doctors Care drive-thru specimen collection testing sites?

We are preparing to open additional sites in the future. Visit DoctorsCare.com for updates on new locations.

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

In order to keep our centers staffed with the compassionate and dedicated providers and teams you’ve come to expect from us, we are closing select centers temporarily to consolidate staffing and supplies at other locations to continue providing the care you and families 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 has been actively preparing for the coronavirus pandemic since February, taking into consideration the affect it will have on our communities and world at-large. Strengthening our protocols and devising rapid-response contingency plans have been at the forefront, in addition to extra precautions taken around stringent disinfection and social distancing protocols.

All Doctors Care staff have been trained on the appropriate care for patients with flu-like symptoms and are wearing the proper personal protective apparel. Each of our locations have been equipped with appropriate tools to follow social-distancing protocols, such as cough-guards at the sign-in/welcome desks, and line-indicators on the floor spaced to fit the distancing guidelines.

We are following CDC and SC DHEC guidelines to limit the spread of the virus including how we isolate patients with symptoms and how we disinfect rooms between patients.

Antibody Testing

What does “antibody testing” mean?

This blood test identifies the presence of antibodies which indicate a person has had an immune response to COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2). A positive result to this antibody (IgG) test indicates you may have had a previous exposure to COVID-19 and your body has developed antibodies.

Am I a good candidate for testing?

All interested persons who have had NO COVID-19 related symptoms for the last 14 days are appropriate candidates for obtaining this test.

To protect center staff, please remember to wear either a face mask or some other form of face covering, like a scarf, when arriving at the center. Please refrain from visiting any of our locations if you have had symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days as you may still be contagious.

Where can I get the antibody test?

All of our locations offer this test as a walk-in service, no appointment needed. However, we recommend that you check our locations page to make sure the location nearest you is open during the hours you want to come, as some of our centers are experiencing abbreviated hours.

Is fasting required for the COVID-19 antibody test?

Fasting is not required for this test.

Is this a blood test or a nasal swab?

This test requires a blood draw from the arm to detect for COVID-19 IgG antibodies. Although it may take up to 14 days after the onset of symptoms for antibodies to develop, 91% of people develop antibodies within 8-13 days. Some people infected with COVID-19 will never exhibit symptoms but will have a detectable antibody response.

Is this a test I can take at home?

No, you will need to visit one of our centers for a blood draw. Visit DoctorsCare.com/locations to find a center near you.

How do I get my results, and how long will it take?

Most results come back from the lab within 3 days of your blood draw. In some cases, due to increased demand, turnaround times may be longer. It may also take up to 3 days for your results to display in your patient portal.

You will receive a phone call from our staff with your results when they return from the lab. You will be able to print a copy of your results from the Doctors Care Patient Portal.

General Coronavirus Information

How does the coronavirus spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Practice social distancing to limit your exposure risk.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

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.

How can you protect yourself?

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. More information on Are you at higher risk for serious illness?

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

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