AFC Urgent Care West Hartford is able to answer questions that patients may have about the novel coronavirus as well as provide diagnostic swab testing and antibody testing. Our center provides services for patients in West Hartford, Hartford, Bloomfield, Farmington and Newington, CT seven days a week.
What is the novel coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a viral upper respiratory infection that quickly spread worldwide after its initial detection in late 2019 in China. There have been over 50,000 confirmed cases in Connecticut as of August 11th, 2020, with statewide shutdowns of businesses, schools and other organizations to reduce person-to-person transmission and community spread. COVID-19 can affect patients of all ages. Patients considered to be at a higher risk for complications include:
- Patients over the age of 60
- Patients with chronic or underlying health conditions
- Patients who are immunocompromised
- Pregnant women
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Due to its relative age, doctors and scientists across the globe are still working to determine the full scope of symptoms for the novel coronavirus as they research a potential vaccine and effective cure. The severity of symptoms ranges from asymptomatic to mile to severe, with some patients requiring hospitalization and even ventilation. Patients who are currently experiencing the following symptoms should get tested for the active COVID-19 virus:
- Dry, chronic cough
- High, unbreaking fever (over 102 F) or body chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Headache and muscle aches
- Recent and sudden loss of smell and/or taste
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic fatigue
- Nasal and chest congestion
If you begin to experience more severe symptoms, including chest tightness or difficulty breathing, visit your local emergency room immediately for assessment and testing.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is transmittable in a few ways:
- Airborne: the virus has been proven to be airborne in recent months, making wearing a mask whenever you leave your home and spend time in public areas or around people outside of who you are directly living with critical. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have an opportunity to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to kill germs.
- Contact with an infected person: if you are exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19 but has not been tested yet or does not know they have the virus due to being in the incubation period or being asymptomatic, you can still get the virus. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can quickly spread from person to person.
- Contact with an infected surface: the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for up to several days, including stair railings, handles on public trains or buses, countertops, keyboards, elevator buttons and door knobs and handles. Make sure you wipe down and disinfect high-traffic touchpoints several times throughout the day and wiping down commonly used surfaces including your keyboard and food prep areas at least twice a day to kill germs.
Can I get tested for COVID-19 at AFC Urgent Care West Hartford?
Yes! AFC Urgent Care West Hartford offers two types of COVID-19 tests, which can diagnose either an active case of the virus or past infection. Both tests are administered to walk-in patients.
Diagnostic swab testing is performed by taking a swab of your nasal cavity to collect a sample, which is then sent to our partner laboratory. The lab then tests the sample to determine if you are currently infected with the active virus. Results are returned in 1-3 days. If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should not get tested for the active virus right away. Wait between 5-7 days in order to get a more accurate result, since the virus will have time to begin its incubation period if you have been infected. Swab testing can only detect the active virus and will not be able to determine if you previously had the virus.
Antibody testing is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies, an immune response formed after the body has battled an infection. Antibodies take between 7-14 days to form after an infection has healed, and a patient must be asymptomatic before getting tested for at least 14 days. Waiting is important because by not waiting, you may produce a false negative result. A false negative can also be produced if you have the active virus but are asymptomatic.