There's an increase of cases in LA, as of March 23rd, there has been 536 confirmed cases
It's essential that you contact the clinic or your primary care doctor before going in for testing
More tests are set to arrive soon, and 2 additional labs are soon to go online- increasing test capacities to 5,500 people/day
Many businesses in LA are closed, and people are encouraged to stay 6-feet away from others
Los Angeles Situation Updates
The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, and Gov. Gavin Newsom recently issued a moratorium, a suspension of activities, on housing evictions and dine-in restaurants and entertainment facilities. Garcetti is also encouraging churches to not hold any gatherings during the Coronavirus outbreak.
To further protect against the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with the Centers of Disease Control, the Health Officer's Order also requires persons in charge of events and gatherings attended by 10-49 persons to ensure that attendees follow specific social distancing measures. Restaurants may continue to serve food to customer via delivery, take-out or drive-thru.
Furthermore, the Order requires the closing of businesses where it is common for patrons to be in close contact with each other for extended periods of time, such as, movie theaters, gyms and fitness centers, arcades, bowling alleys and bars and nightclubs that do not serve food.
University of California Medical Center is regularly updating its website and has resources to perform tests on eligible patients. For more info, call patient care: (310) 267-9113. Keep in mind tests will be made available at no cost for at-risk individuals with medical insurance through work, medi-Cal, or those under the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, says patients should speak with their Doctor before seeking out a test. To maximize efficiency, tests will be administered to those deemed eligible by screening.
Should I Go to the Emergency Room?
It is recommended to to stay home if you have normal, flu-like, symptoms and isolate yourself to prevent spreading the disease.
Severe symptoms include high fever, extreme difficulty breathing, ongoing pain or pressure in the chest area, mental confusion, and a bluish tint to the lips or face. If any or all of these symptoms are present, seek emergency health care immediately.
You may choose to wear a mask if you are going out in public, are experiencing symptoms, or will be in contact with those who test positive. If you wear a mask due to coronavirus,, it is important to do so correctly. Incorrect mask usage can increase the spread of germs. For example, clean your hands thoroughly before putting on a mask and use the elastics on the side of the mask to place it on your face and take it off. Avoid touching the mask itself with your hands.
Screening Yourself Daily & Social Distancing is the Best Preparation
COVID-19 is easily spread by sneezing, coughing and so forth, so simply avoiding contact is one of the most optimal choices you can make during this time. Self-quarantine means staying at home as much as possible. If you are able to miss school and work, it is suggested you do so. If you have traveled to a high-risk location recently, it is imperative. Avoid social settings and public space and avoid public transportation including small spaces like cabs and ride-shares. You can ask the following questions to screen yourself:
Have you been experiencing a fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath?
AND, have you traveled to geographic areas with sustained transmission of COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?
OR, have you had close contact with a person confirmed with COVID-19 infection?
Where to Get Tested for Coronavirus in Los Angeles
If you happened to answer yes to two or more of the self screening questions above, perhaps calling your local clinic or primary care doctor would be a good choice. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health website, there are several clinics you can call to see if you can get tested for coronavirus COVID-19. It is recommended to first check in with your primary care provider and see if they're conducting COVID-19 testing. If your doctor is not testing for the virus, you can call your local urgent care.
If you are healthy, have no exposure history, and have no symptoms, you are not guaranteed to be tested due to the limited test kit and protective gear supply caused by the coronavirus crisis.
UC San Francisco, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, and Stanford are all offering tests for the novel coronavirus — and UC Davis is currently in the process of getting three different types of tests online. Here's where you can get a coronavirus test:
Antelope Valley Public Health Center 335-B East Avenue K6 Lancaster, CA 93535 661-471-4861
Central Public Health Center 241 N. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 240-8204
Curtis R. Tucker Public Health Center 123 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood, CA 90301 (310) 419-5325
Glendale Public Health Center 501 N. Glendale Ave Glendale, CA 91206 (818) 500-5762
The COVID-19 test is quite simple- a doctor will swab the inside of a patient’s nose or at the back of their throat. The sample will then be kept cool (between 35° to 45°F) and sent to a commercial lab. However, if a sample is not processed within four days, it must be frozen, or a new sample is required. Once you have been approved for a test, it should take 48 hours to receive results, though in some cases it is taking up to a week. The process includes:
Nasal Swab. You should be seated and directed to angle the head back at 70 degrees, then the clinician applies the nasal swab, working it into the back of the nasal cavity before it reaches the posterior nasopharynx. This may be a little unpleasant because the clinicians move the swab to get enough sample material. Don't worry though, it's fairly quick.
Throat Swab. For the throat swab, you will be asked open your mouth and the clinician will insert the swab as gently as possible into the back of the throat toward the tonsils. The swab should be touched over both tonsillar pillars, before removing and securing the sample.
Lower Respiratory Specimen. The final sample involved first rinsing your mouth with water. After this is done, you will be asked to cough up a specimen of sputum directly into a sterile sputum collection cup. This will subsequently be sealed by the clinician and sent off with your other samples to the nearest laboratory.
How Much Will it Cost?
For patients who do not have insurance or a regular health care provider, there are 14 health centers dedicated to serving LA County with free and low-cost services. Find a care center in your area here. Be mindful to call ahead of time for some clinics have limited hours. The federal government has pledged that the costs for coronavirus tests will be waived for all Americans. You will need to work with your health care provider for more information on your specific treatment costs.
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