Testing, Testing, 1-2-3 – Lockdown Day 89

Since our governor lifted the stay-at-home order yesterday, I guess we are no longer technically on lockdown. But my family is going to continue as if we are, because far too many people are not following the safety protocols of wearing masks and keeping your distance. Also, my daughter and I are getting tested for COVID-19 tomorrow (I guess it will be today by the time this posts).

We have no reason to think we have it, and normally would not bother with the testing, but we need to go see my parents, who are in several high-risk groups for COVID, so we want to be as sure as possible that we are not carrying this right to their backyard (we are going to only interact outside).

Testing is available in NJ to everyone now, not only those with symptoms and a doctor’s note. You just call and make an appointment. So I did, and have one for the 11th. I was surprised that they said results would take 7-10 days, but they said they are having a lot of people testing right now, so volume is high. As soon as I get the results, we will set the date to go to my folks’ house. I am, of course, assuming we are going to be negative.

It’s really something of a trial to get testing done right, largely because of the long incubation period of this virus. The test cannot pick up a brand new infection, so if I got the virus today, I would still test as negative tomorrow. So for best results, you should get tested at least 3 days after your last possible exposure—5 days is better (the average time after exposure people get symptoms is 5 days). So my daughter and I have been very strict about contact outside the house for the past few days. Her last contact was Monday, mine was Friday.

So then you get tested. Supposedly takes just a couple of minutes, then you’re off home to await your results. But you should self-isolate while waiting, because you might be positive. And we are self-isolating because we don’t want to risk picking it up somewhere between the test and when we visit my parents. Then once the (hopefully negative) results are in, it may be a few days before we can get nice weather for the visit. So that’s a long time to be extra-careful.

I am grateful for the available testing, as it will give me some peace of mind. I am also awaiting accurate antibody tests, as I wouldn’t mind getting one, even though I do not think I have had coronavirus.

Be safe, everyone. Remember that even though the state is reopening and the weather is warm, the virus has not gone away. Be smart, be safe, stay healthy.

Comments

  1. Alas, not all states are willing to give out tests. PA doesn’t unless you have symptoms. I hope it goes well for your tests so you can see your parents. I plan to enjoy some things, but definitely be safe about it. Thank you for a great post. Barbara of the Balloons

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