BWPC Update on COVID-19 Testing
and Contact Tracing in Maryland
(as of July 26, 2020)
If you would like to be tested for COVID-19, please read below for what fits your needs the most:
- I have symptoms of COVID-19 and need medical advice or guidance:
- Patients of BWPC (only active patients of the practice) can be seen via an urgent telehealth appointment and offered drive through testing by appointment only at our Eldersburg location. Please call the office at 410-552-5050, portal message or leave an email on our website to obtain an appointment and further instructions. We usually receive results in 2-4 days. Learn more at our COVID-19 webpage.
- For others, this maryland.gov website has a listing of many local clinics or urgent care settings which can potentially help manage your symptoms.
- While you wait for results, please learn more about self-isolation for you and your household at the CDC website link here.
- I have symptoms of COVID-19 but I am comfortable without any additional medical advice or guidance.
- Patients of BWPC who would like to be tested are required to have a telehealth appt before we can refer to our drive through testing. We feel strongly that we need to counsel patients about the relevance of this test in your situation. Learn more at our COVID-19 webpage.
- If you are not looking for medical guidance on your symptoms, a self-referral to a testing center can be obtained via this maryland.gov website which has VEIP location appointments also lists the many urgent care centers with testing available. Some require an office visit as well.
- I don’t have any symptoms but I am concerned about exposure (at work, home, restaurant, gym, etc) or would like to be tested. Please see below about contact tracing in Maryland.
- For active patients, to be tested at BWPC, we do require a telehealth appointment to be referred for our drive-through testing. We feel strongly that we need to counsel patients about the relevance of this test in your situation. Learn more at our COVID-19 webpage.
- Self-referral to a testing center can be obtained via this maryland.gov website which has VEIP location appointments also lists the many urgent care centers with testing available.
- I am told that I need testing for pre-operative exams or upcoming travel.
- Most surgical facilities will have a plan for COVID-19 testing if it is required. If not already ordered, we will do our best at your scheduled pre-op exam to coordinate getting a test result in time for your surgery.
- For travel or school, please note that timing of results can be variable. BWPC uses a lab that can provide results in 2-4 days but we are currently only testing Tues/Thurs, and hope to increase the frequency of testing soon. Testing with BWPC requires a telehealth appointment. Urgent care centers, pharmacies, and VEIP centers are now taking about 7-10 days to get results due to high volumes at LabCorp/Quest. There are some urgent care facilities doing rapid/same-day testing with known decreased accuracy of results. You can use the maryland.gov website to call around if necessary.
- I believe I was previously sick with COVID-19 and would like antibody testing.
- Please read our previous blog about antibody (IgG) testing which is available via LabCorp or Quest if ordered by a clinician. This test is of limited practical benefit but can be ordered by your provider if appropriate.
Contact Tracing in Maryland:
Contact Tracing involves contacting people who were in close proximity to someone with COVID+ results in order to help interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 infection to quarantine themselves, and their contacts to also isolate voluntarily for 14 days after their last exposure to the infected patient.
What happens if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?
- A public health worker may call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and ask where you spent time while you may have been infectious and able to spread COVID-19 to others. You will also be asked to stay at home and self-isolate, if you are not doing so already.
- Your name will not be revealed to those you may have exposed, even if they ask.
- Self-isolation/quarantine means staying at home in a specific room away from other people and pets and using a separate bathroom, if possible. You are asked to do this
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever (without fever-reducing medication) and
- Symptoms have improved.
- Note: If tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the time of the positive test.
What happens if I am contacted to be informed I have been exposed to COVID-19?
- You may receive a call from “MD COVID” or 240-466-4488 so please try to answer this call.
- You should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the last day you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. The public health worker will help identify the dates of your self-quarantine. They can also provide resources about COVID-19 testing in your area.
- Self-quarantine means staying home, monitoring your health, and maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet) from others at all times.
- You should take your temperature twice a day, watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and notify your health department if you have symptoms. You should also notify people you had close contact with recently if you become ill, so they can monitor their health. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, you should seek medical care.