Coronavirus Update 4.23.20:
We hope everyone is staying healthy. We wanted to reach out to you and share a few updates.
As you know, nasal swab (or PCR testing) for COVID19 has not been available in the Valley unless you were admitted to the Hospital. Testing really has not been that important for milder symptoms because everyone has already been quarantining.
As we move towards opening up our Valley and the State, testing will now play a pivotal role. It will be very important to test people with symptoms so that they can continue to strictly isolate for at least 14 days. There are now a few options to be tested if you have symptoms.
Beginning Friday, you can now be PCR tested in our office, as well as at Aspen Valley Hospital. We will both be sending our specimens to Quest. Turnaround time is expected to be 48 hours. To be tested, you should have at least one of the following symptoms for at least 24 hours: fever of 100.4 or greater, cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste/smell. Or alternatively two of the following: fatigue, body aches, headache, sore throat, chills, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting or loss of appetite.
If you would like to be tested at either site, please call our office. We will set appointments for testing at our office or we will send an order to the Hospital to be tested there. Please note that referral to the Hospital requires a four-page requisition form that needs to be filled out while we speak with you on the phone. Also, testing at the Hospital is only available to Pitkin County residents. Medicare and most insurances are covering testing for COVID -19, but if you have concerns, you may want to contact your insurance carrier.
Many of you have been interested in antibody testing to see if you have had the virus or are immune. There remains significant concerns about the validity of antibody testing. At this time, we would recommend against widespread antibody testing until more information is available.
Finally, we also wanted to let you know that beginning Monday April 27th, we will resume seeing Annual Wellness examinations in the office rather than visiting by telehealth. We would like to remind you to wear a mask and come only if you are healthy. If you have an upcoming Wellness examination and have concerns about coming into the office, please let us know. If you recently had a Wellness examination that was done by telehealth or canceled, we will be reaching out to you shortly.
We would like to thank all of you for your patience and support during this unprecedented time. Your kind words have been uplifting!
David Borchers and staff