1/12/2022: COVID Testing Breakdown

//1/12/2022: COVID Testing Breakdown
1/12/2022: COVID Testing Breakdown 2022-03-31T14:26:28-08:00

January 12, 2022

New Faces!

Hi everyone. My name is Ali (she/her). I am a family nurse practitioner student, primarily working with Dr. Beda until April of this year. I work as a registered nurse at an OB GYN clinic and I am currently in my second year of the Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program and Duke University. I am passionate about providing care that is patient specific and encompasses the health of the whole person (mental, physical, spiritual health, and environment). When I am not working I love to spend time in nature trail running, mountain biking, and skiing. One of my favorite ways to spend time is gardening in my backyard and tending to my house plants. I am looking forward to meeting you over the next few months!

COVID testing updates

PCR tests:

  • We continue to offer PCR testing, via posterior nasopharyngeal swab (aka the brain biopsy swab).
  • We use posterior nasopharyngeal swabbing for PCR testing because it continues to show superiority to nasal swabbing in regards to having fewer false negatives. We understand that it is really uncomfortable (we’ve all been through it many times ourselves) but the risk of missing a positive case is too high otherwise.
  • They are sent out to LabCorp in a batch at the end of every clinic day, where the current turn-around time is 48-72 hours. Not ideal.
  • We only do testing outside on our back ramp, to minimize risk of virus being shed inside our clinic.

Rapid Antigen tests:

  • We currently do not have any, but we have them on order. They are back-ordered for us like they are for everyone else.
  •  When (and IF) they arrive, we will have a limited supply and they are not the portable, self-contained kind, so we will not be able to provide you with kits to take home, and we will be using clinical judgment for who to prioritize for rapid testing at the clinic.
  • We are hopeful that you also will be able to find rapid tests again at drugstores and online retailers again very soon.

Re-testing after a case of COVID:

  • Not routinely recommended.
  • PCR tests can remain positive for weeks after a case of COVID, due to persistent shedding of virus material, but that does NOT correlate with being infectious. Thus, you are likely to continue to have positive PCR tests for weeks after you are no longer contagious.
  • Rapid antigen tests may be more useful in this scenario, if you can find one. Again, following the CDC’s guidelines does not include re-testing until negative.
  • Blood tests for antibodies are not helpful, since a) they do not distinguish between vaccine-generated antibodies and disease-generated antibodies, and b) the lack of antibodies does not necessarily mean a lack of protection.