During these difficult times, we are committed to staying open and available for our patients and our community. As usual, we are able to provide care for most of our patients’ medical needs including injuries. We are fully supplied with personal protective equipment to use as needed.
We have COVID-19 viral antigen testing kits from LabCorp and thus now we are able to provide this test for our patients with suspicion of COVID-19 infection. This test uses a nasopharyngeal swab, which means a swab will be inserted through the nose to obtain secretions from the very back of the nose. This process takes less than one minute. However, the test result from LabCorp is currently reported in approximately 2 days.
It is important to know the limitations of the test. This is testing for the presence of Coronavirus RNA fragments using PCR technology. This can be very useful if the patient is experiencing symptoms, such as cough, fever, shortness of breath etc.
It is possible that a person experienced these symptoms two or more weeks earlier and now they feel much better. In this case the patient’s immune system has likely cleared the virus successfully and the viral antigen test will show negative.
We also offer an in-office rapid antibody test for COVID-19. This test requires a simple finger stick blood sample and will produce results in 15 minutes. This test is checking for the the presence of two categories of antibodies which are naturally produced by the immune system in response to infection. Specifically, Immunoglobulin M (IgM) will be the first to rise in the blood as early as 7 days post onset of symptoms and will usually decline at approximately 30 days. Subsequently, Immunoglobulin G (IgG) will begin to rise 14 days after symptoms onset and typically will stay elevated for a long duration possibly lasting several years. The long term scientific data has not been fully established for COVID-19 IgG. However, the presence of elevated IgG does indicate a healthy functioning immune response and will likely produce some degree of immunity in the near and medium term.
Also, keep in mind that positive Coronavirus cases are rare in San Diego County, these numbers below will increase with time, as of May 20, 2020, these are the testing results:
S.D. County positive COVID-19 cases: 6,140 (pop. 3.1 million)
Encinitas positive COVID-19 cases: 42 (pop. 60,000)
Carlsbad positive COVID-19 cases: 71 (pop. 95,439)
San Marcos postive COVID-19 cases: 70 (pop. 83,781)
S.D. County positive influenza cases: 20,591 (week ending 4/4/2020, last week of tracking for season)
If you feel you may have symptoms that are concerning, feel free to call us and make an appointment. When you do come in, please put on your mask if you have one. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one. Antibody testing can also be helpful in determining possible past exposure to the novel Coronavirus even in asymptomatic patients.
Please note our operating hours as of April 1, 2020 are:
Monday – Friday: 9 AM – 5 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 2 PM