COVID-19 Update 4/11/20

We have some good news.  After running 20 tests on residents of Logan County, we have not had a single positive.  The tests do appear to be valid as they did detect a confirmed positive in Allen County.  This means that, at least as of about 2 weeks ago, the virus that causes COVID was probably not circulating widely in Logan County.

After hearing from a number of patients who would like to be tested just for peace-of-mind, we are ready to begin testing any Hickory patient both to offer greater clarity to individuals and to give us a better picture of what is going on in the community if the virus does begin to surge.

Please remember, regardless of your results, it is critical that we continue to minimize our contact with one another.  Our analysis suggests that our risk is continuing to increase as the virus spreads in surrounding states and in counties with linkages to our county.  We still have a period of weeks to months before there is likely to be a meaningful decrease in risk.

With all of that said, here are four points that are particularly relevant about the testing and our decision-making in the coming days:
  1. Even in the best case, this test is really only telling us what was going on about 2 weeks ago.  It is measuring your body’s response to the virus and it takes about 1-2 weeks for your body to make a response that we can detect with the test.
  2. We are all still bound by the orders of Governor DeWine.  The “stay-at-home” order is at the governor’s direction and no test result alters that.  Of particular note, as long as the virus is spreading in major urban areas, we risk having it pop up in our community and then we will only be as safe as our ability to limit its spread here.
  3. Even if we are completely virus-free in Logan County right now (which we are not), every day folks are passing through and some of them certainly do have the virus.  Please remember that we need to be careful when touching any surface that anyone else may have touched.  Metal and plastic are particularly problematic as there are some reports of the virus lasting over 3 days on these surfaces.  (Remember, this means when you touch something like a gas pump, you may be exposed to everyone who has used it in the last 3 days…)
  4. There is reason to believe that these tests may become more common and cheaper as time goes on.  This will not be your only chance to be tested, so please feel free to be tested or not as you see fit now.  If and when better options come along, we will do all that we can to bring them to our community.

When it comes to testing, we want to minimize exposure for our patients.  To do this, we will divide our testing day into two parts with lower risk people in the first part and higher risk people in the later part. Even if you have been tested before, we are happy to repeat the test if you would find it helpful.
 
The next time that we will be doing tests is the morning of Tuesday, April 14.  If you are interested in being tested, please call the office during regular business hours and we will schedule a time for you.