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Covid-19 cases are once again on the rise in LA County. The average daily number of cases sits at just above 4,000. Spikes in new, positive cases of the virus at the end of November were unprecedented for the county, going beyond even those at the start of the pandemic. Hospitalizations have increased across the state of California, increasing by 89% over the last two weeks. Roughly 12% of all those who test positive for the virus will need to seek hospitalization at some point. 

Luckily, there are a variety of prudent measures one can take to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. 

With so much risk, many Angelinos are wondering how they might minimize their risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Luckily, there are a variety of prudent measures one can take to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. 

How does Covid-19 spread?

In understanding how to help stop the spread of Covid-19, it is important to understand how the virus is transmitted. 

Covid-19 is a strain of coronavirus, similar to seasonal flu in its symptoms but more easily transmittable. The virus is easily transmitted through water droplets from one’s nasal passages. For this reason, the CDC has recommended social distancing and mask wearing as fundamental ways to prevent cross contamination of these virus spreading droplets.

Beyond taking measures to mitigate exposure to and the spread of these water droplets, one of the most important tools that we have available to stop the spread of Covid-19 are tests.

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Image cr.: Pexels.com

Why should I get a Covid-19 test? 

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Testing enables you to know with certainty if you must quarantine, as a positive test will indicate that you are a high risk to spread and transmit the disease. It is important to note that the virus is contagious in the short period of time before it manifests in symptoms, a process which can take up to 14 days. This means that testing is the only way to know for certain if you are carrying the virus and hence a major risk to transmit to others. 

What are the types of available tests? 

Broadly speaking, tests fall between two categories: diagnostic and antibody. Diagnostic tests will look for an active case of Covid-19, indicating that one is at a high risk to spread and transmit the virus. Among diagnostic tests there are two types: PCR and antigen.

PCR tests are the definitive answer for those wondering if they are positive, and their result takes 1 to 2 days to receive. 

Antigen tests resolve in minutes, although they do run a slight risk of a false positive result. Unfortunately, there are multiple strains of coronavirus, some of which constitute the common cold, and the antigens or surface proteins which are sought by the test can resemble those of more innocuous, banal forms of the virus. That downside is relative: the almost immediate turnaround of their result can be invaluable for a variety of reasons. 

Where are tests found? 

Tests will come in various forms, and the city of LA has provided over 130 different testing locations throughout the county. They can also be obtained from most pharmacies. 

There are other ways to come by a Covid-19 test. One of the more convenient options for those seeking tests are in home testing services such as those at Concierge MD LA. 

What is in-home Covid testing?

In-home testing services, such as Concierge MD LA, typically offer two standard test options: the nasal swab PCR and the rapid antigen test. They will look for traces of genetic components of the Covid-19 virus, and definitively tell you your status within days or even minutes, depending on which test you elect. 

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There are a variety of benefits from electing for this form of test. The first is, of course, convenience. Why leave your home to take a test if someone will just bring it to you? However, their service has the added benefit of being proctored by a registered nurse, a medical professional who will ensure that your test is performed correctly to guarantee that your result is accurate. Furthermore, at-home COVID test Los Angeles services can be scheduled well in advance to ensure that you’re not caught in a line at a testing center waiting to receive care - and, of course, minimize your risk of spreading Covid in Los Angeles.