COVID-19 Testing Still Recommended

COVID-19 Testing Still Recommended

Almost everyone has been tested or knows someone who has been tested for COVID-19. The usual procedure is a nose swab or spitting into a tube for analysis. Testing is paramount for keeping tabs on the infection rate in communities, and in and around Calumet County, there are three major testing sites.

Christ the Rock Community Church in Menasha, which is only open on Thursdays, Reid Municipal Golf Course Clubhouse in Appleton and Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh are all offering free testing to the community.

These and other testing sites can be found at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website: DHS.Wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm.

Mrs. Sallie Peik, a special education teacher, was tested at the drive-thru at Christ the Rock. “The whole experience took maybe only five minutes. I did have to wait in line for about an hour,” Mrs. Peik said.

According to Calumet County Health Department, another testing site may be available in mid-March. The amount of testing available in an area fluctuates.

     The department stated, “Testing sites are based on demand because of the limited resources all the agencies have access to. Testing sites often review the number of people being tested, and if the number remains low, then it becomes more appropriate to

utilize the resources in other locations where demand is higher. It is a fluid process, meaning it changes often based on data.”

According to Calumet County Health Department, while case counts are trending lower, there has also been a significant decrease in testing for COVID-19 in the area. The Calumet County percent positivity rate remains stable.

“There is now home testing available with the sputum test kit,” said Ms. Bonnie Kolbe, the Health Division Manager/Health Officer for Calumet County. However, people need to obtain the test kits via mail prior to becoming sick because it takes about a week to receive the test kits.”

Ms. Kolbe recommends those who want further information on at-home testing kits visit: DHS.Wisconsin.gov/covid-19/collection.htm.

A CHS sophomore and his family were quarantined after one of the student’s parents contracted COVID-19. “My testing experience was pretty quick. I wasn’t too bothered by it,” the student said. “It interfered with my school day, but I worked around it thanks to virtual school.”

Mrs. Brittany Mayer, a science teacher, has been tested multiple times. “Most testing sites are now more self-administered, so it is not with the technicians where it can be more uncomfortable than when you do it yourself,” Mrs. Mayer said.

While testing is a vital way to be reactive after getting exposed to COVID-19, there are arguably more important proactive ways to help keep yourself safe from contracting the virus, and that’s following medical professionals’ health guidelines.

Ms. Kolbe recommends following the guidelines of physical distancing, mask wearing and handwashing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Calumet County. She also recommends that if you feel sick, stay home and get tested as soon as you can.

Although, Ms. Kolbe said this is a challenge for Calumet County Health Department currently as some community members fail or outright refuse to follow the government’s guidelines.

When asked what they would say to people who are sick of following public health guidelines, Calumet County Health Department stated, “Everyone needs to realize we’re all connected—by our health, by our actions and by our commitment to each other. It is up to each of us to take simple steps, like staying home and wearing a mask, to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community from COVID-19. Your actions every day can help protect everyone in Calumet County and beyond. Do your part by staying at home to protect those who are important to you.”

What to Do While You Wait for Your Test Results Stay home and isolate yourself from people and animals in your home. Wear a face mask or covering if you need to be around other people. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (for example, tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs and cabinet handles). Watch for symptoms. Keep track of when you have any new symptoms. Check your temperature two times a day. If you are sick, keep a daily record of fever, cough and any other symptoms. If your symptoms get worse, see a doctor via telemedicine or in-person. Call your doctor before going in to see them. Tell them you have been tested for COVID-19. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you might make others sick. See a doctor right away if you have emergency warning signs.* Struggling to breathe Bluish skin, lips or tongue Constant chest pain or pressure Feeling dizzy or lightheaded all the time Acting confused Difficult to wake up Slurred speech (new or getting worse) New seizure or seizures that won’t stop *This list does not include all emergency warning signs. Call a doctor if you have other severe symptoms. Call 911 for any medical emergencies.