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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Don’t rush to get tested. Testing negative for COVID-19 doesn’t mean you won’t pick it up and be positive next week – and the cost of repeatedly testing everybody for every symptom will be exorbitant

SHARED WITH PERMISSION ... from a musical friend of mine who is an ER physician in Penticton

Do Not Rush to Get Tested for COVID-19!!

Hello folks. As one of your local emergency physicians, I am going to take the role of devil's advocate and explain why I personally believe that testing is a waste of time for the general population. 

Although the test is good at telling you if you have COVID-19, its sensitivity appears to be no higher than 75%.

In medical terms, this means that 25% of people who have COVID-19 would actually test NEGATIVE. Whether you test positive or negative, still means that you need to SELF-ISOLATE.

If you get a false sense of security from a negative swab, you may loosen your isolation precautions and infect many people.

If you have symptoms and test negative (and actually are negative), then you may have something else like Influenza A ... H1N1 ... H3N2 ... Influenza B ... Parainfluenza ... Rhinovirus ... Non-COVID coronavirus ... Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV - there ACTUALLY is an outbreak of HMPV in one of our Penticton LTC facilities at the moment!).

That means YOU STILL need to SELF-ISOLATE!!

Testing negative, and not having COVID-19, does not mean you will not pick it up and be positive next week! The cost to society of repeatedly testing everybody for every symptom would be exorbitant.

As a society, lets save this money for rebuilding society after the pandemic passes. Save society money and SELF-ISOLATE.

Testing positive, early or not, WILL NOT ALTER the course of the disease, nor does it change your management!

Some/most (80+ %) will have mild disease (even though they personally feel like their illness is severe) ... about 20% will require hospitalization for oxygen ... and a subset of these will become critical irrespective of test results. 

Stay at home and SELF-ISOLATE.

If you don't actually have COVID-19, going into a hot zone (where all the COVID-19 positive patients are going to be tested), is needlessly putting yourself at higher risk of contracting it!

Stay at home and SELF-ISOLATE!

If you actually have COVID-19 but are well enough to make it to a testing center, then you more than likely are quite mild, and are then unnecessarily exposing and putting health care personnel at risk of getting it, not to mention the personal protective equipment that could be better used elsewhere.

Better to stay at home and SELF-ISOLATE.

Please do not show up to the ER because you feel like you want to be tested, or if have mild symptoms ... stay at home and SELF-ISOLATE.

If you feel increasingly short of breath and have chest pain when you breath in/out, then please, by any means, come into the ER.


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