ATLANTA — Many of you have been curious about what a coronavirus test is like. You’ve heard about the long swaps and the “uncomfortable” feeling you get when it’s inserted in your nose.
Gov. Brian Kemp said earlier in May that all Georgians can get tested for coronavirus if they want, even if they’re showing no symptoms of the virus. But you have to make an appointment.
Or you could call your local health department. Here’s a list of phone numbers for clinics across Georgia.
Channel 2 Action News anchor Linda Stouffer followed the rules and scheduled an appointment last week. She said she was feeling fine, and just following the advice of the governor.
Here is her first-hand account of what it was like to take the test:
- Take time to find the best test location for you.
- GA National Guard, public health heroes are doing an amazing job keeping everyone moving through.
- Nasal swab is not for wimps.
- 6 days later, still holding my instructions and waiting for results.
If you need a test, please go get a test.
I have NO SYMPTOMS. I’m fine. But Governor Kemp opened testing to everyone. Health experts explain testing is key to getting America working again. So me: let’s go.
Georgia says I’m eligible, but it took most of the day to get confirmation of an appointment. Body aches and chills? No. Coughing? No. I did the online screening with four different companies and systems to find my quickest way in. I was confirmed for the next morning, 40 minutes away from work. Here’s why I suggest looking around -- I later heard about testing in another county that would have saved me drive time. I’ll do that next time.
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The drive-up testing was organized very well. THANK YOU to the hard working health heroes. Window down for a license check. Clear instructions. Through my car window I could see nurses and techs carefully doing the test, transferring the sample, tossing exposed gear, sanitizing and getting gloved up for the next car.
Then it was my turn. “Is your car in park?” Yes.
I’m usually steady for medical tests -- I don’t flinch at blood draws, eye exams or strep tests.
But even with the warning, the upper nasal swab could be uncomfortable… wow. I had a mild bloody nose for 10 minutes. Maybe my experience was an outlier. Another friend said it only made her sneeze. Some locations are offering a throat swab, and there are blood tests being developed.
This was Tuesday. I held off on posting hoping to get my results. I’ll let you know when they let me know!
Here’s what I take away from my real-time experience. Tests are available in Georgia, but the process could be better streamlined moving forward. I wanted to get a baseline screening before my workplace starts bringing more of our people back. If I’m one of those asymptomatic silent spreaders, six days feels too long to wait for results.
I hope as we scale-up for mass testing, we also carefully support the most accurate, easiest ways to test (can’t imagine a line of school children getting the deep nasal swab). So far, Georgia has tested around 3% of the population. On the high end, experts are suggesting testing 2% of the population in a month.
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