Getting tested for COVID-19 – a personal testimonial
In her informal research, Natasha’s found people who don’t think they should get tested, are worried it takes too long or believe the test is painful. She’s sharing her personal experience to encourage others to get tested so we can all stay safe and healthy.
In mid-May, I decided to sign up when Alberta offered COVID-19 testing for a week to all Calgarians so I could learn about the process. After filling out the online COVID-19 assessment, I was contacted via an automated message with the date, location and time of the test. The drive-thru testing site was well-organized, the staff were friendly, and the process took about 10 minutes. The test itself, a throat swab, took maybe 30 seconds. Because I had no symptoms or no known contact with a person who had COVID-19, I was free to continue, no mandatory self-isolation required. Within 48 hours, I was called and advised by the AHS auto-dialer service that my test came back negative.
I’m planning to visit my parents in BC this weekend, so I decided to get tested again as my parents are in the high-risk category. Testing is available to all Albertans regardless if we have symptoms. Within a minute I completed the online assessment and chose the date, time and location of the test. The test was a nasal swab, which I was terrified of, but now after experiencing both, I prefer the nasal swab. The process was quick, from the time of arrival to departure, only 10 minutes. Less than 48 hours later I received my results via the AHS auto-dialer...negative! Hugging my parents knowing I am currently COVID free will feel amazing!
Why am I sharing this?
1. Alberta is recommending everyone get tested. By getting tested, we are helping AHS and the province better understand the extent of the disease and supports AHS and the Alberta government in monitoring and planning as Alberta re-opens.
2. Since Alberta is in stage 2 of relaunch we are out more and around more people. I have been to the hair and nail salon, eaten at restaurants five times, went to two different malls and tried on clothes, and used the washrooms in all these places.
3. I personally know two people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and had no symptoms. Although I didn’t think I had COVID-19, there was no harm in going for another test.
4. I am responsible to do everything I can to keep my family, friends and co-workers, safe and getting tested is another simple measure we can do.
I encourage everyone to get tested and instead of asking “Why should I get tested?” change the narrative to “Why not?” Remember, we can get out and enjoy life. The steps we need to take to stay healthy are simple: Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay two metres away from others, wear a mask if you can’t and stay home if you’re sick. And don’t forget to eat healthy, get proper rest and exercise!