In this rapidly-changing environment, here is the latest information on everything from how we handle your urgent medical issues to our new Covid-19 protocols.
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. It is spread primarily through droplets of saliva or mucus and can lead to mild-to-severe respiratory illness. There is no known cure.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Most of the time—roughly 85%—a person who gets Covid-19 has either no symptoms at all or symptoms like the flu: headache, fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches. It tends to get better in a week but can last up to 21 days. About 15% of people develop a more serious illness similar to pneumonia (shortness of breath, chest pain, bad cough). Approximately 2 to 3% of people who get the virus, especially the elderly, will be hospitalized and run the risk of dying.
How long is the coronavirus incubation period?
The incubation period—the time between catching the virus and showing symptoms—can range from 2 to 14 days. It is most commonly 4 to 5 days.
How long does the infection last?
The infection seems to last for up to 2 weeks in most people, but there is no definitive answer. If you lose your sense of smell and taste, they will return the vast majority of the time, but it may take weeks or even months.
Who is at the highest level of risk?
The people most at risk are 65 and older, live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, are immunocompromised, smoke, or suffer from a chronic medical condition like asthma, lung or heart disease, or diabetes.
What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine is for people or groups who don’t have symptoms but were exposed to the illness. Isolation is for people who are confirmed to have had the virus.
Is it possible to get Covid-19 twice?
There’s no clear answer yet. When you recover from being infected, it is likely that you develop some level of immunity, but it’s not clear how long that immunity may last.
COVID-19 PCR TESTING
Do members have access to unlimited testing?
Yes, members have access to unlimited PCR & antibody testing. Generally, most insurance companies are covering Covid-19 testing. In the event, members would be responsible for a $150 lab fee.
What types of Covid tests do you offer?
We currently offer Nasopharyngeal (NP) PCR tests and Oropharyngeal (OP) PCR tests. NP swabs are your standard nasal swab. OP swabs are similar to strep tests where a swab is taken from the back of the mouth and throat.
What is a PCR swab?
A sample of bodily fluids is mixed with reagents (chemicals) that break down any potential virus that may be in the sample.The RNA (genetic material) inside the virus is replicated repeatedly within the sample by these chemicals.The sample is then placed into a machine that detects the presence or lack thereof of any viral RNA.
What’s the difference between PCR swab tests and antibody tests?
The current swab test uses PCR technology to find the presence of the virus and determine whether you’re infected. It is the most accurate way to see if you have Covid-19. The antibody blood test looks at the antibody build-up in your bloodstream to determine if you had it in the past (IgG). However, the antibody test is less accurate than the PCR test.
How long does it take for the Covid-19 test to come back?
Results are presently available within 24 – 48 hours.
Do you offer rapid (~15 minutes) Covid testing?
No. Currently, we offer standard testing through Nasopharyngeal (NP) PCR tests and Oropharyngeal (OP) PCR tests.
Is the PCR swab covered by insurance? How much is it?
The test is covered by most insurance plans. If the test is not covered by your insurance, it is $150.
Is the antibody test covered by insurance? How much is it?
The test is covered by most insurance plans. If it’s not covered, it’s $50.
COVID-19 HOUSE CALLS
If I get a house call for coronavirus, can my entire family be tested?
All members of Sollis are eligible for Covid-19 testing. This includes PCR swab tests and antibody tests. Additional fees may apply for any family members who do not have a Sollis membership.
What is the wait time for a house call?
Due to high volume during the pandemic, the wait time is 24 to 48 hours. But if you’re high-risk, we will prioritize you. If your life is in danger, we’ll advise you not to wait for a Covid test and then advocate on your behalf at local hospitals. No matter what, you’ll be able to speak with our ER physicians at any time throughout the process.
Are you able to take imaging during a house call?
Yes. We have partnered with home-imaging companies who will come to your house and provide chest X-rays to help differentiate between pneumonia (which responds well to antibiotics) and Covid-19.
Can Coronavirus house calls be submitted to insurance?
Most of the time, no. House calls are out of network. However, some insurance policies may accept them. House calls for Covid-19 testing only are $500 in New York City and the Hamptons. If a medical evaluation is needed, house calls are $1,000 in New York City and the Hamptons.
Are Covid-19 patients coming into the center? What if I have a non-related issue?
To minimize risk to our members and staff—and maintain our ability to address traditional medical needs—we are not seeing patients with direct Covid-19 exposure or symptoms in our centers. If you have any other non-Covid issue, we’re here 24/7.
If I need to be hospitalized for Covid-19, can you coordinate?
For the 2 or 3% of patients who progress to ARDS (Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome) and need ICU-level care, we will advocate for them by trying to leverage our relationships with local hospitals and Emergency Departments. Unfortunately, during this time we cannot guarantee direct admission, but work tirelessly on behalf of our members to ensure they are being advocated for in the event hospitalization is needed.
What if I need a ventilator? Can you guarantee I can get one to my house?
We have relationships with the pulmonology departments of hospitals to try and get our members access to ventilators as soon as possible, but we cannot guarantee it. We do have at-home oxygen and concentrators to support pulmonary function in the event of a shortage of hospital beds.
If I test negative for Covid-19, does that definitely mean I don’t have it?
The tests are not perfect, especially due to the 2 to 14 days it may take for Covid-19 to present after exposure, so testing negative does not completely exclude the possibility. The primary reason for a false-negative result is testing too early in the course of the virus to be detected. In the event of a negative, we will continue to treat your symptoms and will likely suggest self-quarantine to reduce risk of transmission.
If I test negative, do I still need to quarantine myself?
You do not need to quarantine yourself in a specific room in your home. But you should stay home as much as possible. If you need to go out, try to remain 6 feet from others and consider wearing a mask or cloth substitute. You can meet up with a friend or two if no one is sick and you maintain the recommended 6 feet, but you should absolutely avoid social gatherings of more than a few people.
Under what circumstances should I retest?
We do not recommend retesting unless you are a healthcare professional. We recommend the CDC’s non-retesting isolation protocol (see above). You should only be retested if you develop moderate to severe symptoms, including temperature of 101.5 or above, chest pain requiring medication, and shortness of breath. If you require retesting to return to work or travel, then we can facilitate.
Which antibody test are we using?
Our antibody test, developed by Beckman Coulter is FDA-authorized, with published accuracy of 99.8% specificity and 100% sensitivity. This test targets antibodies reactive to both the nucleocapsid (N) and spike (S) Covid-19 proteins.
How do I get my antibody test?
In order to perform an antibody test, we perform a house call or see you at one of our centers (pending a screening call with a doctor). Results should be available within 24-48 hours.
How long does it take an infected person to develop antibodies?
These antibodies take time to develop, so any antibody testing should not take place immediately after infection. The optimal time to perform the test is at least 17-21 days after the start of your initial symptoms or the date you believe you were infected if you are asymptomatic. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to show antibodies if indeed you were infected by Covid-19. Depending on when someone was infected and the timing of the test, the antibody test may yield a false negative and not find antibodies in someone with a current Covid-19 infection.
Should I get an antibody test if I have symptoms?
No, for sick patients, we prefer a PCR swab test in order to drive treatment decisions.
Will the antibody test tell me if I had Covid previously and if I am immune?
The antibody test can identify the build-up of long-term antibodies (IgG) that may indicate you have had Covid-19. It is still not known if you can contract the disease again, although we believe it may suggest some immunity. However, there is the potential of a false positive, where the antibodies identified are in fact caused by an alternative coronavirus or disease. For this reason, we do not change our social distancing recommendation based on this test.
COVID-19 BACK-TO-WORK PROTOCOL
Can you help my company return to work safely?
Sollis Health can provide corporate memberships that assist with Covid-19 back to work protocols to ensure your team is safe. Corporate memberships can include:
- A medical professional on-site to handle Covid-19 testing (PCR and antibody) with rapid turn-around times
- Digital health assessments and daily checks of key vital signs (temperature, oxygen levels and heart rate).
- In case of contraction, management of Covid-19 care on set (oxygen support, chest X-rays, vital sign monitoring).
- Return to work protocols and retesting to ensure safety for the crew
- Premium memberships for key personnel to help with any medical issues that are non covid related.