The Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, in a statement from Chief Medical Officer Carol Ahern, disputes the federal line on Coronavirus testing as a false promise, and explains the realities of what the SVCHC is able to do right now:
“MYTH: “Anyone who wants a test can get a test.”
FACT: Coronavirus testing capabilities remain limited in California and in Sonoma County.
Here at SVCHC, we understand many of you are concerned regarding your personal, family member, and community risk for the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide COVID-19 screening for asymptomatic patients or community members at this time.
On the bright side, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services Public Health laboratory has completed approximately 100 tests for COVID-19 since its surveillance program was initiated on Thursday, March 12, and has encountered only 4 positive cases of local COVID-19 transmission through this afternoon, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 (the other 2 cases in Sonoma County were acquired on the Grand Princess cruise ship.)
This is evidence that COVID-19 is NOT widespread in our community at this time. We STRONGLY encourage all patients and community members to follow all public health advisories from the county, state, and federal governments to reduce further spread of COVID-19 within our community.
Currently, your health care team at SVCHC respectfully requests the following: If you are ill with mild upper respiratory infection symptoms, such as runny nose, sore throat, or cough, PLEASE STAY AT HOME until your symptoms have resolved.
Mildly ill patients are encouraged to rest, drink plenty of clear liquids, and use over the counter acetaminophen if needed for discomfort. Please call and ask to speak to a nurse if you require specific advice tailored to your particular health conditions. If you have fever over 100.0 F, moderate to severe cough, or shortness of breath, please call us. A nurse will speak with you about your symptoms, personal health, travel, and COVID-19 exposure history, and instruct you regarding next steps for an in person evaluation by one of our providers. Depending on your individual circumstances, and results of preliminary tests such as rapid influenza, COVID-19 testing may be performed by your provider. Results are generally available within 72 hours.
Tested patients are requested to remain in home self- isolation until your results are available. If you have severe difficulty breathing, confusion, chest pain, or another life threatening
If you have severe difficulty breathing, confusion, chest pain, or another life threatening issue, please call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room. Thank you so much for understanding and cooperation during this difficult time.”
— Carol Ahern, MD, CMO