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Exposure/testing/protocols we still stink at this whole thing


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How are we still so screwed up? (That’s mostly rhetorical.)

Due to anti-bashing rules, I won’t get into the individual decision making issues, just the “now what” part.

People in my house have had multiple exposures to someone who is now awaiting test results. We know the protocol for that person and for our house if the test comes back positive... but the test is expected to take up to 6 days for results.

In the meantime, my kids have been told to go into work. You know, because they don’t have confirmed exposure to a positive case. Because the results aren’t in. But if it does come back positive, they can’t go to work after that. Just before. And if they have to get tested, no one around them will be considered to have a confirmed exposure to a positive case for the days of waiting for results so they will have to go to work in the meantime. And if my kids come back positive then THEY will have to test and no one around them will be considered a confirmed exposure until THOSE tests come back and so on and so forth.

It’s all insane. 

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The protocols for our school are a mess too.   A confirmed exposure, home for 14 days if symptom free.....even with a negative test personally.  But, if you have confirmed exposure, AND symptoms, then you return 48 hours after last fever or severe symptom.....even with a personal positive test.  

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38 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

That is insane. And so, so irresponsible on the part of whoever made those rules.

From what I can tell, there are no official rules. I mean, our state’s website gives “rules” for exposure to confirmed cases. It doesn’t provide guidance for the time contacts are waiting to hear about results. At least, I can’t find any.

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39 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

That their work won’t give them time since they are awaiting results is insane, I’m sorry. We had no trouble adjusting and quarantining while I was waiting (and it was only a day and a half) but I think that’s because my husband’s job is terrified of any litigation or outbreak. I’m not sure they’re ever actually going back in person, and if ANY member of the family is potentially exposed they expect notification from the employee.

Dh’s company is weird with all of it. He mostly works from a computer and phone and usually in a very private office, so he can pretty easily stay away from people.  Unless he’s expected to travel for a job. There’s a good chance that no travel will be needed in the next few days, but they will act like he’s being a jerk if it does come up and he refrains from going. @@ So here’s to no travel coming up!

 

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Just now, Carrie12345 said:

From what I can tell, there are no official rules. I mean, our state’s website gives “rules” for exposure to confirmed cases. It doesn’t provide guidance for the time contacts are waiting to hear about results. At least, I can’t find any.

In the big picture, I think this kind of dysfunction is endemic. That's why we're having the problems we are having.

On a local level, you'd really think no employer would want an employee to return under those circumstances. It's self-sabotage. But here we are.

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It is insane.  I can't type out all the gory details, but I am pretty sure that someone who is positive was just sent out of a hospital covid unit and into a nursing home.  This person and all other residents are being tested, but again 5 day wait.

My 18 year old cousin picked up something covid-like at the meat packing facility she works in.  A few days later her BFF became sick too and got tested...positive.  Cousin was told she didn't need to be tested and to go to work.  Her sisters and parents (same household) were also told they should go to work unless they develop symptoms.  One works in a nursing home.  

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It's bad to figure out who should self-quarantine and who doesn't need to. Where does it end?
Person A is personally contacted on Wednesday by a co-worker from Saturday who has tested positive. This co-worker tested because someone they had contact with (not sure when) tested positive. Contact was limited, masks were worn 90% of the time, so what is the percent change Person A was infected? (BTW, it would be nice to have a risk assessment calculator for this sort of thing.) 

Person A gets tested immediately (I'm wondering if 4 days post exposure is enough time to test positive). Both roommates of Person A are asked not to come to work until Person A gets results. (Should be no longer than 48 hours, but we will see)

Meanwhile, if Person A does test positive, that means both roommates should also get tested. But what about their co-workers - shouldn't they stay home until Person A's roommates get their test results back? And what about their family members/roommates?

So, where does it end? 
 

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Yup. This crap is why the Stay at Home thing was the only thing that really worked to contain spread. 

It SHOULD be feasible to test and track and mask and contain things. But people are acting like as long as there isn't a positive test result on paper, there is no risk. So things do what they are doing. And I'm sick of it. 

No one wants to stay at home. But becasuse of all this idiocy, we have been home since March and my 10 year old is DESPERATE to go ANYWHERE. I just freaking want to be able to take the poor kid to a freaking playground and not worry that half the kids there might be ready to snot Covid on her. 

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It makes no sense. College town here and some of them are doing one round of testing on their own and others are using the local health department. It's been a full 7 days and  test results aren't available.  The University opening plans all look good but don't work in reality. 

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I did locate a place that currently has a 2-3 day turn around so, if worse comes to worse, we won’t have to wait as long for dh and dds’ results.  :::knock on wood:::
I don’t, however, know for sure if they’re still limiting tests to one per family. That would be extra insane, because they have three different sets of contacts. Hopefully we won’t even have to find out.

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20 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

We don't "all" stink at it. Around here, the rule is if you are awaiting test results, and tested for a reason, you quarantine until you get the results. At work, people who tested because of exposure or symptoms quarantine until results, but the rest of us (tested every other week) don't have to.  Long turn around times are supposed to be due to the labs being overwhelmed, so places have started sending them to more than just Quest in order to help alleviate that.

Around where? Your work, or?

My brother in California recently tested because of exposure to someone positive. It took 17 days to get the results back (negative, thankfully since he wasn’t able to quarantine for so long. Which obviously isn’t right and definitely stinks).

Waiting 17 days simply doesn’t do anyone any good. 
 

It didn’t have to be this way.

 

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1 hour ago, skimomma said:

We are at 10+ days to get results.  There is absolutely no point in testing if it is going to take that long.  We are a university town.  

Maybe it is still helpful so they know that they likely have immunity at least for awhile and they can also donate survivor plasma to others.

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The local medical center is recommending that if you are exposed to a positive case or have symptoms to self-quarantine for 14 days but don't bother to get tested or even go to the doctor unless you are so sick that you need the emergency room.  

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Yeah, it's pretty horrible.

DD moved into college today. She did the COVID at home test Monday per her university's rules - her result is not back by today, Thursday. I'm assuming most of the kids moving in today don't know their results yet. So, will they infect each other before the tests come back?  

DH had to drive her to college, so he returns to us this weekend. He will get a test, but meanwhile, I taking middle dd into a hospital program every day. So, do we not come in? We have to; it's absolutely medically necessary - so we come in and possibly expose everyone here. DH"s work wants him back ASAP, but the county just said yesterday they request a 14 day minimum quarantine due to travel to Alabama, so he can't. But, they're talking like he'll be in the office late next week. Ugh, it's such a mess.

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Well, one dd’s primary employer asked her to get tested before returning. $100 later, they gave her 3-5 days instead of the 2-3 they posted on FB. Maybe their post generated too much interest!

It’s sinking in that there’s no real winning, though.  She has been around this person multiple times, but her longest/closest exposure was only Tuesday night, so it isn’t a given that she would test positive if she were to have had contracted it.

Ah, 2020.

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9 hours ago, Innisfree said:

On a local level, you'd really think no employer would want an employee to return under those circumstances. It's self-sabotage. But here we are.

I don't know if it's at the state level or nationally, but employers are asking for protections against being sued. I would feel really terrible if, say, the mom and pop pizza place following all the rules has an employee get sick and infect customers because some employee is lowering their mask every time they are out delivering pizzas. Unfortunately, I think the vast majority of what protections would do is allow employers to demand their employees come to work under questionable circumstances.

7 hours ago, skimomma said:

We are at 10+ days to get results.  There is absolutely no point in testing if it is going to take that long.  We are a university town.  

Well, it puts a mark in the "It's real" column, which may or may not be persuasive to the masses, but will at least allow us to have better data and some hope of things not being skewed five years from now because people can say, "But people didn't get tested, so how do we know they really had COVID?"

2 hours ago, KidsHappen said:

The local medical center is recommending that if you are exposed to a positive case or have symptoms to self-quarantine for 14 days but don't bother to get tested or even go to the doctor unless you are so sick that you need the emergency room.  

That's awful. We're supposed to be past that stage of testing scarcity! Also, it's going to give conspiracy theorists more questionable data later, sigh.

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16 hours ago, kbutton said:

That's awful. We're supposed to be past that stage of testing scarcity! Also, it's going to give conspiracy theorists more questionable data later, sigh.

Oh we have plenty of tests and you can easily get one for free from the health dept which is one of the things that make that advice so strange.

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I had a likely exposure. A bunch of us were at her house, all masked. She became very ill three days later and immediately quarantined. Ten days of a fever and taste issues, and she's fine. She decided not to test because results from the free/inexpensive tests take so long, and she's retired and didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for a quick test. Her family diligently tracked down everyone they could to tell them. As far as she knows, no one got sick. To be safe, we masked at home once I knew. 

Oldest was definitely exposed and was tested and sent Workman's Comp paperwork and told to quarantine. We masked at home. Then he had another likely exposure at a friend's house. They are waiting on results, but we are masking at home.

I thought this article was interesting. I certainly HOPE I get exposed this way (LOL):

https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/one-more-reason-wear-mask-you-ll-get-less-sick-covid-19

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My uncle, who is a lung transplant recipient, was just tested yesterday for COVID after a solid week of my aunt calling every one of his specialists to try to get him tested. She finally told them either they could test him now and possibly do something for him or they could wait for his autopsy! He has lost 18 pounds in 3 weeks, is having to use his emergency oxygen, and is so weak he can no longer shower. His doctor said approximately 10 days for results. I'm heartsick.

DH is home from Alabama, but his doctor did not return his call today to schedule his test, so it won't be scheduled until at least Monday, and if we have to wait for 10 days for results, what's the point? This whole thing sucks, just sucks.

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On 8/13/2020 at 7:51 AM, skimomma said:

We are at 10+ days to get results.  There is absolutely no point in testing if it is going to take that long.  We are a university town.  

 

On 8/13/2020 at 1:02 PM, KidsHappen said:

The local medical center is recommending that if you are exposed to a positive case or have symptoms to self-quarantine for 14 days but don't bother to get tested or even go to the doctor unless you are so sick that you need the emergency room.  

 

As more and more research comes out on post-viral complications, I think it's really important to get tested to have that verification in a patient's medical records. I just posted a link in the Wuhan thread about a German study that found cardiac abnormalities in nearly 80% of "recovered" Covid patients, with current, ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60% of them. And this was occurring even in patients that were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. If someone turns up in the ER with heart problems months after they had Covid, that's important data for medical personnel to have.

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On 8/13/2020 at 7:47 AM, Ottakee said:

The protocols for our school are a mess too.   A confirmed exposure, home for 14 days if symptom free.....even with a negative test personally.  But, if you have confirmed exposure, AND symptoms, then you return 48 hours after last fever or severe symptom.....even with a personal positive test.  

Maybe the 14 days with no symptoms is because you might not have developed them yet.  If you have symptoms and get better they figure you are done.  Interesting...

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On 8/14/2020 at 7:45 AM, KidsHappen said:

Oh we have plenty of tests and you can easily get one for free from the health dept which is one of the things that make that advice so strange.

Well we have neither enough tests or quick enough turn around time here, so I know people who have been told by their medical provider to just quarantine for two weeks because it will likely take almost that long to get results if they can even get a test. We most definitely do suck at this as a country. It’s pathetic and infuriating. Every symptomatic person I’ve known here was not able to get a test. I think there was a short window when we had adequate testing and quick turnaround, but none of them were sick during that time.

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Our tested contact’s results came back yesterday, and they were negative! So the actual turn around wound up being less than 72 hours, which was a nice surprise on top of the result itself.

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On 8/13/2020 at 3:25 PM, beckyjo said:

Yeah, it's pretty horrible.

DD moved into college today. She did the COVID at home test Monday per her university's rules - her result is not back by today, Thursday. I'm assuming most of the kids moving in today don't know their results yet. So, will they infect each other before the tests come back?  

My DD took her college-mandated at home test a week ago Monday. Lab received on Tuesday & said results in 2-3 days. She still had not received them yesterday morning, so she scheduled a rapid test on campus (since she was in the area). She got the results approximately 24 hours later -- within two hours of her move in appointment. Stressful!

As far as I know, she's been tested three times in 30 days and only received one set of results back.

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Just now, RootAnn said:

My DD took her college-mandated at home test a week ago Monday. Lab received on Tuesday & said results in 2-3 days. She still had not received them yesterday morning, so she scheduled a rapid test on campus (since she was in the area). She got the results approximately 24 hours later -- within two hours of her move in appointment. Stressful!

As far as I know, she's been tested three times in 30 days and only received one set of results back.

She did get her results the day of move-in. Negative. So all good, but, yes, stressful. Both for her and DH and me! Not that I could do anything about it, but yeah, you know. 

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On 8/13/2020 at 7:47 AM, Ottakee said:

The protocols for our school are a mess too.   A confirmed exposure, home for 14 days if symptom free.....even with a negative test personally.  But, if you have confirmed exposure, AND symptoms, then you return 48 hours after last fever or severe symptom.....even with a personal positive test.  

 

Wow, in my state there's a minimum 10-day quarantine for this situation! (Edit to clarify: You have to be 10 days past the LAST day of symptoms.)

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47 minutes ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

 

Wow, in my state there's a minimum 10-day quarantine for this situation! (Edit to clarify: You have to be 10 days past the LAST day of symptoms.)

Our state’s official guidelines follow the CDC. At least 10 days after onset of symptoms and at least 24 hours fever free, with no meds, and other symptoms improving. Taste and smell are exceptions to that because they can take longer. 

 

ETA: That’s with a positive personal test. It’s 14 days without one. 

But every employer has their own rules, as far as I know. 

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Wow! That is crazy. Glad you got the test results back.

 

Both my sons employers were understanding when they took time off while I was waiting for a test. We completely quarantined twice this summer because they also took time off because a contact of a contact of ours was positive and our contact was getting tested. So we were the contact of a contact. No one from the gov't contacted us, our friend did and we simply made the decision. It seems like these types of actions would be more helpful than just randomly shutting down swathes of our economy.

 

 

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I am also frustrated by all of this. The time it takes to get results back, the total lack of transparency from health care professionals about who manufactures the tests they use (along with specificity data), the alarming possibility of way too many false negatives, on and on. I would encourage each of you to email your representatives in government. I did last week. Good testing. Available testing. Accurate testing. Fast turn around. There is really no hope in containing this virus without these things. 

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