Diagnosis & Testing
Per our medical adviser, the following decision matrix is being employed by some local doctors and hospitals to determine whether testing for COVID-19 and influenza is appropriate. Obviously, this is not medical advice and you should speak with your health care provider with any of your personal health concerns. However, it might be useful to have a sense of systems being employed in our area.
For patients that do not have severe symptoms that warrant admission to a hospital, a COVID-19 and influenza test will be ordered if someone who is (a) older than 65; (b) has a chronic disease (cardiac, pulmonary, renal, diabetes, malignancy or transplant); OR (c) is pregnant or within two weeks postpartum, (i) has been exposed to an individual who was tested by a laboratory and found to have COVID-19; or (ii) has two or more of the following symptoms that are not attributable to some other cause: documented or reported fever, acute onset cough, sore throat, new muscle aches or new shortness of breath.
These criteria may be adjusted depending on the availability of testing kits and resources.
What You Need To Know
Person A: Tested Positive for COVID-19
Quarantine yourself immediately.
Person B: Direct Contact with Person A
Quarantine yourself immediately for 14 days beginning with the time of contact with Person A.
Direct contact means you were within 6ft of Person A for approximately 5-7min.
Hugging/embracing/kissing is considered direct contact even if less than 5-7min.
Quarantine means being in an isolated room without contact with the outside for 14 days from the last point of contact. This includes contact with family members within your home. If not possible, doctors and Rabbanim recommend that the entire family should be quarantined. Download quarantine giudelines here.
Contact your healthcare provider if you feel symptoms. Do not go to the doctor’s office without calling them for instruction first. In case of emergency, contact Hatzalah at 410.358.0000.
COVID Testing Sites Currently Available in Baltimore:
Many healthcare systems are requiring a screening via telephone or video chat before you go to the testing sites. Again, you must be referred to get testing, no on demand drive-up testing is allowed.
9396 Baltimore Nat’l Pk, Ellicott City, MD, 21042
Testing hours: Mon-Fri: 6pm-7pm Sat-Sun: noon-1pm
They also have locations in Alexandria, Virginia and DC
Patients must be prescreened before they can be tested.
Chesapeake College is being used as an alternate testing site to relieve local hospitals in Queen Anne’s County. Patients are only being tested after a referral by their primary care physician. Since the first day of testing at Chesapeake College, 117 people from all 5 counties have been tested.
Johns Hopkins has developed its own coronavirus test and used it for the first time on March 11 and tested 85 patients over a three-day period. Hopkins is preparing to test 1,000 patients a day if needed. Right now results come back in 24 hours, but Hopkins researchers are working to decrease it to three hours for results.
Patients who believe they have coronavirus, need to be prescreened. You can reach out to Hopkins Telemedicine or your PCP first.
Call 911 if it’s a true emergency and let the 911 operator know you believe you have COVID-19.
Here’s a list of Hopkins hospitals/patient care centers. Call ahead to confirm if your nearest.
LifeBridge Health has set up tents outside Sinai Hospital and Carroll Hospital where people who have been referred by a doctor can be tested for coronavirus. They also opened a Teletriage line for potential COVID-19 patients.
MedStar Health Urgent Care
MedStar Health is providing coronavirus testing in the parking lot of The Baltimore Museum Industry. The BMI is closed through April 12 to the public. Patients must be pre-screened by doctors to get the test.
Offering coronavirus testing in the emergency room parking lot on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Patients need to have been referred by a doctor for the test.
The hospital locations are testing patients as well, but those patients must be referred or came in due to an emergency.