I have received a lot of questions from people about my experience getting tested for covid since I posted some pictures in my insta stories last week, so I thought I’d share my experience in case anyone was interested.
I should first state that I did not get tested because I suspected I had covid. I got tested because I had just traveled out of state, because I have kids that are in school, and because my employer was encouraging anyone that traveled to be tested upon return.
I was tested on Wednesday, July 8th at the Orange County Convention Center. I waited a total of 3 hours from entrance to exit. I asked for an antibodies test, which meant I got an antibodies test and a COVID test because that is how it was set up.
The OCCC is set up as a drive through testing facility, with separate lines if you want to be tested for antibodies or covid. When you approach the testing site, personnel in PPE approach your car with some paperwork that you fill out while in car line and mark your windshield with a AB for antibodies or CV for covid, which tells personnel further down the line which direction to send your car.
The paperwork was basic and what you would expect- I was asked to provide my name/address/phone number, answered questions about known exposure to covid, and travel.
The antibodies test was a (supposed to be) quick blood draw, which I did by placing my arm out the window. The woman that did my draw was probably working her first day, as she was very nervous. I had to get four different pricks to have my blood drawn (not uncommon for me- my blood doesn’t always cooperate for draws). One vial only.
I then drove to the next spot, which was the covid test. Both sides of the nose swab. I did NOT enjoy this part, I won’t lie. I would rather go through labor and delivery again any day of the week. At least at the end of that I get a baby. At the end of the covid test, I either have covid or I don’t. It was about 3 seconds in each side of the nose. I instantly sneezed when she was done, and I’m pretty sure they got part of my brain out from the swab. There was a small amount of blood on the swab.
I followed the line and moved on to wait to exit the garage, or so I thought. I was waiting to exit for an hour. But as it turns out, it wasn’t an exit, but rather waiting for the results of the anitbodies test, which I didn’t know I would receive same day. I noticed someone in PPE approaching my car from behind and realized that they attached my test results to my license plate, which felt really creepy to me. When they approached my window they confirmed my name (they told ME my name, not vice versa), which was how I knew they attached my name/results to my license plate. I thought this was very strange.
My antibodies test was negative. The paperwork I received said all over it that it doesn’t mean I didn’t have covid, just that it doesn’t detect any antibodies now. It also said if it was positive that I could still not have immunity. So that made me feel like I probably should not have done that test because it was meaningless.
I was told that I’d receive a text message with covid test results within 48-72 hours Last night, around 9pm (July 14th), I received a text that asked me to set up an account to receive my results. The process just took a few minutes to do, and of course I was anxious to do it so even though I was in the middle of sleep, I went ahead and followed the directions.
MY TEST RESULTS WERE NEGATIVE FOR COVID.
I was happy about the results, although not surprised. Interestingly enough, I’ve not been sick since last December, but have had a rough sinus cold since the day after having the covid test. I wonder if sticking something up in your sinuses can possibly cause that reaction or make you more suspectible? It’s not exactly cold and flu season here in Orlando’s 98 degree summer weather.
Anyways, my experience wasn’t negative, although far from ideal. There were lots of ways that I would suggest improving the process, but I also understand that this is a global pandemic and sites are operating under short notice and with limited resources. The personnel working those sites are in full PPE in Florida heat for who knows how long on end. Their work is courageous and difficult and I am grateful for their efforts.