AFC Urgent Care Vernon is able to provide COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing as well as pandemic updates to patients in Vernon, Tolland, Manchester and the surrounding communities.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, is an upper respiratory infection that was first detected in December 2019 before quickly spreading worldwide. There are over 49,000 cases in the state of Connecticut as of July 30th, 2020. The spread of the virus has led to shutdowns of schools, businesses and organizations across the state and around the world in order to slow the spread and flatten the curve of infection.The virus affects patients of all ages, with higher-risk groups including the elderly, individuals with compromised immune systems or underlying conditions and pregnant women.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Because COVID-19 was only discovered at the end of last year, doctors and scientists worldwide are still working to determine the full scope of symptoms as well as a vaccination and cure. Patients have exhibited a wide range of severity in their symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to severe and requiring hospitalization. If you exhibit some of the following symptoms, you should get tested:
- Persistent dry cough
- High fever or body chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Recent and sudden loss of smell and/or taste
- Vomiting and nausea
- Chronic fatigue
- Head and muscle aches
- Nasal and chest congestion
If you begin to experience chest tightness or you have difficulty breathing, you should go to your local emergency room immediately.
How COVID-19 spreads
COVID-19 is can spread in several ways. The virus is airborne, which is why it is critical that you continue to wear masks or protective face coverings when going out in public. The virus can also live for several days on a wide range of surfaces, where it is easily transmittable from object to hand and subsequently from your hand to your eyes, nose and mouth if you do not wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately. In order to protect yourself from contracting the virus, you should make sure you wash and sanitize your hands frequently throughout the day, wear a mask in public areas, practice social distancing and wipe down commonly used surfaces at least twice a day, including your desk, keyboard, food preparation areas and door handles, stair railings and faucets.
What COVID-19 tests are available at AFC Urgent Care Vernon?
AFC Urgent Care Vernon performs two tests to diagnose active and past infections with the novel coronavirus.
Diagnostic swab testing involves taking a gentle swab and running it through the lower nasal cavity, which is painless to the patient. After the sample is collected, it is sent to our laboratory for testing and analyzing. Results will be returned to the patient in 3 business days, depending on lab capacity or any unforeseen circumstances. If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, wait between 5-7 days before getting tested. Getting tested immediately could result in a false negative result. Swab testing can only detect the active virus and cannot be used to determine if you previously were infected.
Antibody testing is used to detect past infections with the novel coronavirus using a blood sample. Antibodies are an immune response developed between 10-14 days after symptoms of the virus have subsided. Because antibodies take some time to form, it is important to wait at least fourteen days after you stop exhibiting symptoms or have a positive swab test. By not waiting, you could potentially have a false negative result. Additionally, if you have the active virus but are asymptomatic, your test results will show a negative result.