COVID-19 Viral Testing

Have you ever wondered why your healthcare provider orders certain tests for specific conditions? Tests are ordered for different reasons ranging from identifying the presence of a particular infection or disease state, to checking the effectiveness of prescribed medications, to determining the presence of antibodies after going through an infection like COVID-19 to evaluating one’s overall health status.

Lately, there have been ongoing news reports about the need to conduct viral testing to determine the presence or absence of an infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus resulting in coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19). Providers are also testing people for the presence of antibodies indicating survival from a past COVID-19 infection or exposure.

As of June 25, 2020, a positive test result means you have the COVID-19 infection. Having a positive test result does not mean you will be hospitalized or that you will symptoms. At least 30-35% of those with a positive COVID-19 result are asymptomatic meaning they are not showing any of the typical viral symptoms. These people are referred to as unintended carriers and some will be designated as “super spreaders”. For those asymptomatic unintended carriers, they could be spreading COVID-19 in their community to folks at higher risk of COVID-19 infection like their grandparents, co-workers, persons with pre-existing autoimmune disorders, diabetes or cardiovascular disease or those over 65 years of age with at least one chronic illness. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/diagnostic-testing.html)

In Arizona, as of July 6, 2020, 81% of those testing positive for COVID-19 range had at least one chronic medical condition while 74% of those age 65 or older were considered high-risk due to the presence of one or more chronic medical conditions. Those ranging in age from 20-44 comprised the largest number of those testing positive for COVID-19 at 50,752 persons. (https://azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/covid-19/dashboards/index.php)

Best interventions to date to ward against COVID-19 infection and its community spread are to (1) wear appropriate face masks, (2) keep physically distance from others by 6 ft minimum, (3) handwash for at least 20 seconds using running water, (4) use hand sanitizer with at least 70% rubbing alcohol when handwashing is not possible, (5) isolate at home if you believe you are infected, (6) if you have symptoms and want to get tested, call your healthcare provider, (7) stay at home while waiting for your test results to avoid spreading the infection and (8) avoid mass gatherings or events. (https://azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-what-everyone-needs)

SCRIPTURE:   3 John 1: 2 – Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 

PRAYER:  Dear God, we ask for your healing hand of protection around our bodies, homes, churches, places of healthcare and communities. Grant us your peace and wisdom to calm our spiritual storms and cast off our fears and doubts. Bless the hands of those working to make a difference in the lives of those suffering or in need or want. Help us to show your grace, mercy and love to those we encounter during this time of unpredictability and unrest. Amen.