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State public-health commissioner tests positive for coronavirus

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Comments

How did she get test results Friday after being tested on Thursday night? While experiencing only mild symptoms. Hospitals in MA are waiting up to a week for results on seriously ill patients.

This is a serious question that I'd like to see some real followup on.

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could be had in 4 hours? - I know no-one can get them, believe me.

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It is stat testing. They bumped her up. The test takes 10-12 hours. This test takes to long we will never test enough people with this Eliza tests. They better bring the finger stick home test ASAP and start selling the kits at Walgreens. But then again how would quest diagnostics and lab Corp fat cats be making their millions.

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If so, why did she go to the front of the line?

Yes, I can think of reasons, but the steps to talk with a suspected MILD case and a confirmed MILD case are the same - isolate and take care of yourself. Meanwhile hospitals have serious to critically ill patients and wait days for the results to come back. In those more serious cases, knowing that it is or isn't COVID-19 makes a significant difference in treatment as well as precautions (such as using more and more PPE that is in short supply).

Also, the current tests are not ELISA but real-time RT-PCR, which takes time. ELISA is much faster. The tests aren't mutually exclusive, the PCR based test is a better indicator as to whether or not someone is currently infected, because it amplifies the viral RNA (or DNA depending on the virus) in active (pathogenic) virus in your respiratory system. ELISA looks for an antibody, which would be present if you had a current or a previous infection. I'm not a technical expert in either technique but I do manage a teaching laboratory that includes courses that teach such techniques to students.

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They better bring the finger stick home test ASAP and start selling the kits at Walgreens.

You might want to look up what is involved in testing before you comment.

First of all, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, not a blood borne disease. A blood test won't detect it. It has to be a sample of snot from either a nasal lavage (too messy and dangerous for mass testing) or a nasal swab. You would not want to try this at home.

IMAGE(https://health.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/images/coronavirus-testing.PNG)

Secondly, the detection requires polymerase chain reaction technology to amplify key RNA sequences in order to detect the presence/absence of the virus. Not exactly kitchen table chemistry.

Thirdly, you better fucking believe they bumped her up because she has been working long hours in close contact with a number of critical emergency staff. Sorry, but sometimes a doctor in charge of the health department for the commonwealth gets to pull rank in an epidemic because that is in the PUBLIC interest.

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And public servant. She has good reason to be in public, and to know for sure when to stay isolated.

I just recovered from what I highly suspect was this particular cootie and was not able to be tested, and I'm appropriately irritated by the non-symptomatic basketball players who have been tested, but I have no problem with the Health Commissioner getting one when she turned up sick.

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My concern isn't that she was tested. I absolutely agree with that. My concern is with the speed at which her test was processed and the results returned.

Yes, I understand her role. Yes, I understand she is the head of the agency overseeing the testing. From the point in which you believe you need to be tested, until you receive a negative result, you need to self-isolate and assume you are infected. A positive test result in her case changes nothing in her situation. Meanwhile our hospitals are waiting for days to close to a week to get back their results on critically ill patients.

If the DPH Commissioner has really been practicing all the necessary precautions, her close contacts should be few and far between. But our healthcare providers don't get to practice social distancing when they are doing their jobs and helping sick people. Shouldn't their patient's tests come first?

This wasn't my original thought either, my question came from a healthcare professional on the front lines of this.

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Given the scope and nature of the work she has been doing, it is bloody near impossible for her to have been completely socially distant. She simply cannot phone it in.

She is also a clinician and has been overseeing state hospital operations since late February.

Get over it. She is on the front line of this mess and needed to be screened lest a delay take down the entire state's ability to respond through a domino scenario.

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Swirl, I don't want to argue with you. I'm really relaying concerns from someone else who is on the front lines of this.

I wasn't even going to respond to your comment (sorry?), until I hear from a friend in public safety, with symptoms for days, who hasn't been able to get tested so far.

Can we agree that we aren't making the mark yet?

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She has been working closely with multiple top ranking state officials, including the governor.

She is ill (I know what she looks like in person on a daily basis and whoh does she look horrifyingly zombified)

DPH runs the state lab.

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It seems like the Governor and Secretary Sudders should be doing a 14-day quarantine (among others who have been sharing the stage daily with Dr. Bharel).

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On a superficially-related note, can we just abolish the public practice/cliche of all the department heads/delegates standing stone-faced shoulder-to-shoulder on the dais behind executive leader in state-of-emergency briefings?

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