What you need to know.
Understand your testing and care options.
Why COVID-19 testing is important
At Virtuwell we’re proud to play our part in helping our community recover from this pandemic. Diagnostic testing is an important step because it allows public health agencies to identify where the virus is and the severity of cases. And, with this information health authorities are able to provide guidance about care, recommend interventions like social distancing and develop new solutions like vaccines.
Testing and care options
In partnership with HealthPartners and Park Nicollet clinics we’re offering drive-up testing. To manage still-limited supplies, testing is prioritized by screening for those most in need. If you’re experiencing symptoms, your options are:
For those who live outside of Minnesota, testing availability may vary in your community. We recommend contacting your local healthcare provider or state health department website for testing guidelines and locations in your area.
Other Common Questions
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms can range from none at all to severe breathing difficulty. Common symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
If I test positive for COVID-19, should my family or roommates be tested too?
If family or a roommate are also showing symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend they seek testing. Even if they don’t have symptoms, it’s important they follow isolation guidelines to prevent spreading the virus to others. Contact your care provider or testing location with any additional questions.
How does coronavirus spread?
Like other viral illnesses, COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person by things like coughing, sneezing, close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands. It also may be possible for someone to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
What is the difference between the different types of tests for COVID-19?
There two kinds of tests commonly heard about for COVID-19: diagnostic tests and antibody tests. Diagnostic tests are administered using a nasal swab. They are given to patients experiencing symptoms and help determine if an active infection is present. Diagnostic testing plays a vital role preventing the spread of COVID-19 by enabling us to detect, isolate and trace cases of the virus.
Antibody, or serology, testing uses a blood sample to detect previous infections. This helps understand how much of the population has been infected. At this point we don’t know if having antibodies to the virus can protect you from becoming infected with the virus again.
Is the cost of testing included when I have a visit with Virtuwell?
During this pandemic period, the cost of COVID-19 testing is covered by all insurance companies by law. Drive-up testing services are provided by HealthPartners Park Nicollet clinics in the Twin Cities, MN. If you choose to do Drive-up testing you will receive a separate Explanation of Benefits from your insurer. If you do not currently have insurance, or have more questions about your payment options, reach out to your testing location.
How can I protect myself and others?
While there is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, there are things we all can do to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends practicing these everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap & water isn’t available
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Put distance of about 6 feet between yourself and others
- Wear a cloth face cover when you must go out in public
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash - wash hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
Virtuwell follows CDC guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, screening and treatment. For the latest updates on the coronavirus visit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)