The FDA has updated its guidelines for COVID 19 testing procedures to make the process easier and more comfortable for patients, as well as to help limit the impact of testing on the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by workers. The change means that people taking the test will be able to conduct their own swabs, which will involve swabbing shallowly in their own nose. The previously existing process required healthcare professionals to take the swab, and collect the sample from further up in the nasal cavity. The county of San Diego has organized the Laboratory Testing Task Force forum to improve the health status related to COVID-19 here in San Diego. This has increased the testing capabilities by distributing testing resources in the community and increasing diagnostic testing, including the use of commercial labs. The county has a goal to offer testing in the community to thousands of people each day.
South Bay Urgent Care, 1628 Palm Avenue, is now providing curbside COVID-19 testing. Patients will remain in their vehicles during the entire duration of the visit, according to a news release from the clinic. Upon arrival, patients can expect a screening exam, and staff will oversee the Self-Swab collection, when COVID-19 testing is necessary. With self swabbing, the nasal sampling is less invasive, and reduces the risk of the spread of infection to healthcare providers, and also lessens PPE use.
Dr. Kimberly Dickson said patients don’t necessarily have to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to be tested. She emphasized patients still need to be screened and speak to a provider first, but testing is more openly available that it was previously. Testing has been limited in the past, but now South Bay Urgent Care is pleased to report that the community is recovering from shortages of testing supplies and PPE.
“Knowledge is power, and testing can help our patient make decisions that can affect their own health as well as the health of our community,” said Dickson.
Understandably, the COVID-19 experience has been challenging for the clinicians and staff, but Dickson believes they are organized and prepared to provide the best care and the best service, in a safe, clean environment.
Dr. Matt Dickson said that the patients are confident in South Bay Urgent Care. They are unlike other facilities as they do not require an appointment for screening or testing. They expect a large demand for testing now that it is more accessible, and are well prepared with the support of public officials, including Councilmember Vivian Moreno and Mayor Serge Dedina.
Testing will be available during their normal business hours, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekends, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., no appointment necessary. Patients can expect their results, provided by a third-party laboratory, within 4 to 5 days.
For more information patients may call 619-591-9999.