Is testing more available now?

Posted by Elizabeth @enska, Mar 30 9:13am

I'm not sure if a lot of people attend Mayo Clinic, but I heard recently that Mayo is treating more people now. I'm dubious about that claim. I requested a test last week and they said no. If testing is more widespread, can I re-request one? I only have very mild symptoms, but I'd like to know.

@enska The need for testing is determined on a case-by-case basis, by your primary provider or by clinics specially set up to handle the virus. There are still not enough tests, or enough lab capacity, for on-demand testing absent serious symptoms and in most cases, concern about spread within a vulnerable group. As of this weekend, in many areas there is great demand for tests by those with significant evidence of virus AND known exposure, and there may not be enough tests capacity for them.
What Mayo is doing is processing more tests in its lab – in Minnesota they have taken a lot of the load off the Mn Dept of Health lab and helped work down the backlog of samples that hadn't been processed. I haven't seen anywhere that they are becoming a primary treatment site – and there are a limited number of cases in the immediate Rochester area. Moderators, can you tell us if the news in this respect is accurate?
If you even suspect you have Covid-19, the best thing you can do is quarantine yourself until 3 days after all symptoms have completely ended. This will protect other people, and help "flatten the curve." If you get more ill, call your doctor for directions.
Eventually, there will be a test available to determine whether someone already had the virus and recovered, but this is likely a year or more away for the general public.
The best treatment we have right now is to wash your hands and self-isolate.
Sue

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@sueinmn

@enska The need for testing is determined on a case-by-case basis, by your primary provider or by clinics specially set up to handle the virus. There are still not enough tests, or enough lab capacity, for on-demand testing absent serious symptoms and in most cases, concern about spread within a vulnerable group. As of this weekend, in many areas there is great demand for tests by those with significant evidence of virus AND known exposure, and there may not be enough tests capacity for them.
What Mayo is doing is processing more tests in its lab – in Minnesota they have taken a lot of the load off the Mn Dept of Health lab and helped work down the backlog of samples that hadn't been processed. I haven't seen anywhere that they are becoming a primary treatment site – and there are a limited number of cases in the immediate Rochester area. Moderators, can you tell us if the news in this respect is accurate?
If you even suspect you have Covid-19, the best thing you can do is quarantine yourself until 3 days after all symptoms have completely ended. This will protect other people, and help "flatten the curve." If you get more ill, call your doctor for directions.
Eventually, there will be a test available to determine whether someone already had the virus and recovered, but this is likely a year or more away for the general public.
The best treatment we have right now is to wash your hands and self-isolate.
Sue

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@sueinmn There are 51 cases in Olmsted County in Minnesota where Rochester is located. Here’s the breakdown by county for Minnesota.
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html

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I second @sueinmn's response about the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that Mayo Clinic developed.

Here's some additional information.
– The Science Behind the Test for the COVID-19 Virus https://discoverysedge.mayo.edu/2020/03/27/the-science-behind-the-test-for-the-covid-19-virus/
– Questions and answers about COVID-19 for Mayo Clinic patients https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/covid-19-faqs

@enska, Whether you can get a test or not will depend on your situation and the availability of the test. At the moment people with no symptoms or mild symptoms are not being tested, providing you have no underlying conditions and are otherwise healthy. It is best to call and ask your doctor.

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@sueinmn

@enska The need for testing is determined on a case-by-case basis, by your primary provider or by clinics specially set up to handle the virus. There are still not enough tests, or enough lab capacity, for on-demand testing absent serious symptoms and in most cases, concern about spread within a vulnerable group. As of this weekend, in many areas there is great demand for tests by those with significant evidence of virus AND known exposure, and there may not be enough tests capacity for them.
What Mayo is doing is processing more tests in its lab – in Minnesota they have taken a lot of the load off the Mn Dept of Health lab and helped work down the backlog of samples that hadn't been processed. I haven't seen anywhere that they are becoming a primary treatment site – and there are a limited number of cases in the immediate Rochester area. Moderators, can you tell us if the news in this respect is accurate?
If you even suspect you have Covid-19, the best thing you can do is quarantine yourself until 3 days after all symptoms have completely ended. This will protect other people, and help "flatten the curve." If you get more ill, call your doctor for directions.
Eventually, there will be a test available to determine whether someone already had the virus and recovered, but this is likely a year or more away for the general public.
The best treatment we have right now is to wash your hands and self-isolate.
Sue

Jump to this post

Excellent info. Sue. Heard a doc from a N.Y. teaching hospital on the news requesting that people stop coming to the ER to request a test. Instead,if concerned they may have symptoms to check with their docs and health depts. Our hospitals are working so hard with short supplies and the ER staff really needs to be available for emergency care of patients.

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@sueinmn

@enska The need for testing is determined on a case-by-case basis, by your primary provider or by clinics specially set up to handle the virus. There are still not enough tests, or enough lab capacity, for on-demand testing absent serious symptoms and in most cases, concern about spread within a vulnerable group. As of this weekend, in many areas there is great demand for tests by those with significant evidence of virus AND known exposure, and there may not be enough tests capacity for them.
What Mayo is doing is processing more tests in its lab – in Minnesota they have taken a lot of the load off the Mn Dept of Health lab and helped work down the backlog of samples that hadn't been processed. I haven't seen anywhere that they are becoming a primary treatment site – and there are a limited number of cases in the immediate Rochester area. Moderators, can you tell us if the news in this respect is accurate?
If you even suspect you have Covid-19, the best thing you can do is quarantine yourself until 3 days after all symptoms have completely ended. This will protect other people, and help "flatten the curve." If you get more ill, call your doctor for directions.
Eventually, there will be a test available to determine whether someone already had the virus and recovered, but this is likely a year or more away for the general public.
The best treatment we have right now is to wash your hands and self-isolate.
Sue

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Thank you so much, Sue! This helps a lot.

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