COVID-19 Resources

FDA Authorized COVID-19 PCR and Serology Testing Available

Step 1-Download the following forms:
Forms
Complete all paperwork for each individual receiving testing.

Step 2-Bring all completed paperwork, health insurance card and driver’s license with you to the visit. To improve the speed, make sure you have two copies of the front and back of your insurance card and driver license (one set for each patient being tested).

Step 3-Our curbside hours are Monday – Friday, 9AM to 6PM and Saturday 10AM – 5PM.. You MUST arrive in the curbside line before 5:30PM Monday through Friday and 4:30PM on Saturdays to have testing performed. The curbside line will close for any new patients arriving after that time.

Step 4-Come around our building from Gulley Rd, into our back alley. Wait in line and keep to the right side. We will come out to you and collect your completed information, ID and insurance. Once you are entered into our system, we will perform the testing at your vehicle.

Step 5-For SEND OUT results, you will receive your results directly via e-mail from our partner lab, Northwest Labs, in 2 – 3 days (time may vary). The passcode to access your results is the last 4 digits of the patient’s birth date. We only call those patients over the age of 65 and minors along with family members.

Covid-19 PCR testing

Our SEND OUT TESTING detects the presence of the SARS -CoV-2 RNA.  SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID 19. These samples are analyzed via the RT-PCR method at a laboratory with CLIA Highly Complex license.  Results may be returned in as little as 1 day (average 2-3 days) but depend on testing volumes in the area.

This test uses a nasopharyngeal swab (inserted into the back of the nasal passage where it meets the throat) to collect material.  This material is analyzed to detect any physical pieces of coronavirus.   A positive result indicated that viral structure material is present.  A negative result indicates that the COVID 19 virus was not detected.  It is possible to have a very low level of virus in the body with a negative result.

INTERNATONAL TRAVELS

PCR TEST meets the requirements for International Travel. We have been serving traveling since the travel band was lifted and we understand the requirements, information needed and time sensitivity of it. STAT (first priority) is available so be needed. We Have never had a delay or traveler denial.

REAL TIME- PCR test name on the lab result, a clear positive or negative test result, patient name and date of birth, test collection date, test reporting date, and test location.  The laboratory address and telephone number are also listed for questions.

More information PCR testing

We are proud to be serving our communities during this national emergency and to be one of the first FDA Authorized collection sites in the area! Also, we take much pride in Life Medical Center being the highest rated on Covid-19 testing center on Google and Kareo in the area.

What you need to know

For your safety and the safety of other, we only preform PCR nasial swabs testing and treatment outside.

More information on antibody testing

We are proud to be serving our communities during this national emergency and to be one of the first FDA Authorized collection sites in the area! Also, we take much pride in Life Medical Center being the highest rated on Covid-19 testing center on Google and Kareo in the area.

What is COVID-19 PCR Testing?

A COVID 19 nasal swab directly detects the presence of the COVID 19 syndrome / SARS CoV 2 virus when performed correctly.

Our test is a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) based which is very accurate, and detects the presence of the RNA of the SARS CoV 2 Virus. We follow always testing guidelines to obtain the best sample.

Why do we not perform rapid testing?

PCR send-out nasal swab is most accurate test when performed by a trained professional.  Accuracy is critical for you and your loved ones when it comes to COVID 19! Unfortunately, rapid testing has resulted in numerous false positives and false negatives. Rapid test has been questioned (Only 85% to 49% accurate). We only want to give our patients the best and most accurate results!

How do I get my results?

You will receive your results directly via email from our partner labs (Northwest Labs 24-36 hours but can vary). The passcode is the patient’s birth year 4 digit. We only call those who test positive, over the age of 65 and minors along with family members. We cannot email test results due to HIPAA regulations, but we can send them to a secure fax and we can also print a physical copy for you to pick up. If the rare care you do not receive an email after 36 hours, please give our office a call.

What are antibodies?

Your body produces antibodies to help protect you from future infections.

Antibodies are blood proteins produced by your body’s immune system to neutralize pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.  The protein recognizes a unique molecule of a pathogen and prevents that molecule from functioning.  In the case of Coronavirus, antibodies may bind the spike (s) proteins, and cover the virus.  By attaching to the spike protein, it may prevent the virus from attaching to your cells, preventing infection.  There are three main antibody types, and some appear earlier than others.  IgM is a short-term antibody, which can be produced in large amounts early in an infection, IgG is and antibody produced for longer term protection (part of your immune system memory), and IgA is an antibody usually found in mucus secreting tissues such as the gt, respiratory tract and saliva.

What is the antibody testing for?

To help determine if you have been infected in the past and possibly carry protection from future infections.

Antibody testing determines if you have developed antibodies against parts of the SARS CoV 2 virus.  This means you have been exposed to SARS CoV 2 in the past, whether you developed symptoms or not.  In addition, the test can also determine what kind of antibody you have developed.  The SARS CoV 2 virus has multiple proteins which make up the virus. There is the Spike (S) protein, Nucleocapsid (N), Membrane (M) and Capsule (C).    The Abbott Architect test finds the nucleocapsid (N) antibody and the Ortho-Clinical VITROS test finds the spike (S) antibody.  An antibody against the spike (s) protein would be the best indicator of immunity, but research has to be performed to see if these are ‘neutralizing antibodies’, or antibodies that will prevent infection.  Testing positive for capsule antibodies might infer you are protected, but a direct measurement of the S protein may be needed.  Again, in the SARS outbreak of 2003, only the S protein was shown to be protective/ neutralizing.  Keep in mind, there is a subset of individuals who will not produce antibodies (5-7 %).

Soon, we will be able to select which type of antibody test you might want.

When should I get my antibody levels checked after an infection/suspected infection?

Give your body time to produce the antibodies. Wait at least 3-4 weeks after an exposure.

There are several groups, including the manufacturer, who recommend checking your antibody levels in as little as two weeks after a suspected infection.  The Cleveland Clinic recently reported that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is different in that it elicits a later antibody response than expected.  Their research noted they saw detectable amounts as late as 3-4 weeks.  Our recommendation is based on this study, which helps prevent a false negative when one did not wait long enough for antibodies to develop

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practiceexternal iconexternal icon for naming of new human infectious diseases.

What is the source of the virus?

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir. However, the exact source of this virus is unknown.

How does the virus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly 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. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic (the sickest). That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. More recently the virus has also been detected in asymptomatic persons.

How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made using a test-based or non-test-based strategy (i.e. time since illness started and time since recovery) in consultation with state and local public health officials. The decision involves considering the specifics of each situation, including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and the results of laboratory testing for that patient.

What is community spread?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

How can I protect myself?

There are a number of things you can do in order to protect yourself from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and wash them often.  Use soap and wash for at least 20 seconds, making sure to cover all areas of your hands and in between fingers.
  • Avoid close contact with others who may be sick, even inside your home.  If possible, maintain at least 6 feet distance between these individuals.
  • Put distance between yourself and others outside of your home.  Maintain 6 feet of distance between those individuals and avoid large gatherings where such distances are difficult.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with some type of covering (cloth face mask, face shield) when outside of your home to protect others.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs, doorbells, tabletops, counters, light switches and other frequently touched areas, especially those that visitors may have interacted with.
  • Monitor your health and be aware of symptoms which may represent COVID-19 such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, headaches and diarrhea.

How can I protect my children from COVID-19?

You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
  • Launder items, including washable plush toys, as appropriate and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

How do I prepare my children in case of an outbreak of COVID-19 in my community?

Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe. If appropriate, explain to them that most illness from COVID-19 seems to be mild. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults.

Is it possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

Yes. It is possible to test positive for flu (as well as other respiratory infections) and COVID-19 at the same time.

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
    • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease