In cooperation with local health and school officials, the Journal-Republican is presenting Q and A's on issues surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. We will be posting them online throughout the week, and also in our weekly print edition.
COVID Q&A: Dr. Narain Mandhan, Kirby Medical Group
Question: Is COVID testing available locally? What types of tests are available?
Mandhan: Yes, for symptomatic individuals. Rapid antigen testing can be performed if symptoms have been present for less than 5 days. PCR testing is also available for those with symptoms greater than 5 days or as a confirmation follow up test.
Asymptomatic patients can get testing at the IDPH site at Market place Mall from 8-4 daily. There is also a testing site at the Decatur Civic Center 8-4 daily.
Question: What is the process?
Mandhan: If you have symptoms concerning for COVID 19 (fever, cough, SOB, sore throat, headaches, sinus congestion, body aches, nausea, diarrhea, loss of sense of smell or taste) we recommend you call your physician’s clinic before presenting to the hospital. At Kirby Medical Group, we would schedule you for a telehealth appointment with one of the providers and determine what testing and treatment would be best. If we believe you should be seen in the clinic during that call, we will instruct you on the process. During the telephone appointment we will instruct you on how to register to get the test performed through our drive-up services.
Question: When would I be notified of my results?
Mandhan: We are providing Antigen (rapid) testing and PCR testing. Your results will be called to you within 48 hours. It is very important that you answer your phone as results will not be left on voicemail. Please ensure we have the most current telephone number so we can easily reach you.
Question: What do I do if I am negative?
Mandhan: There is a possibility of false negative testing with both types of tests. If you test negative but are symptomatic, we recommend you continue to quarantine at home as well as isolate away from other household members if positive. We may recommend a repeat PCR test in 1-2 days if symptoms persist. We may also offer a follow up appointment in person to perform an exam and determine if another diagnosis could be the cause of your symptoms.
Question: What if I test positive?
Mandhan: If you test is positive at Kirby Medical Center, you will be contacted by us as well as the health department. We recommend that you isolate at home per the CDC guidelines: 10 days from symptom onset, fever-free without medications for 24 hours and improvement in symptoms. You should also contact all possible exposures for the 2 days prior to symptoms onset and inform them of a COVID 19 exposure. They will also need to quarantine for 14 days from their last day of exposure to you. If you are unable to isolate away from family members, they will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days after their last day of exposure to you (possibly up to 24 days)