As COVID cases continue to increase across Weatherford and western Oklahoma, Weatherford Regional Hospital President Brian Denton has several suggestions for Southwestern Oklahoma State University students and area residents.
The first thing to do when a person suspects COVID is to contact their primary doctor, health department or go to an area convenient care facility, according to Denton. Medical workers can then determine if testing is needed or required by asking a series of questions.
“There is a risk of getting a false negative result if tested too soon,” Denton said. “Typically it is recommended to wait 5-7 days before testing after being exposed.”
People can have a misconception on what exposure means. Denton said a person has to be in close proximity to a positive case for at least 15 minutes and within six feet of that person. Exposure also takes into consideration if Personal Protective Equipment was being used or not. Being in the same room with the person doesn’t necessarily mean “exposure.”
Denton reminds students and residents that nurses and medical workers can be very helpful in answering questions, as well as guiding toward the best course of action to take.
As for testing, Denton said the Weatherford hospital has an adequate supply of test kits—unlike last spring. Results of the rapid tests are typically known by the end of the day. Testing is not a painful procedure but can be uncomfortable for some people. Once a result is known, the hospital will contact the individual’s ordering provider (primary doctor or convenient care provider, for example) with the results and that facility will reach out to the patient.
Denton said it is extremely important for everyone to 1) maintain a distance of 6 feet from people when possible; 2) wear a mask; and 3) wash hands often.