AGH encouraging residents to be mindful of COVID-19 symptoms to preserve tests

WORCESTER Co., Md. — The government has issued tests and masks to Americans nationwide in limited numbers.

As the Omicron variant comes to its peak, doctors are letting residents know the best time to take an at-home test. The Biden administration has allotted 4 tests per household. We spoke with Dr. Sally Dowling, Co Interim President at Atlantic General Hospital to tell us more about the appropriate time to take a test.

“Do the home tests if you are experiencing any symptoms; nasal congestion, fatigue, headache, and diarrhea, those seem to be the predominant presenting symptoms we’ve been seeing recently,” Dowling says.

Doctors also say use the test if you’ve been exposed to someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 case. Dr. Dowling emphasizes the resources being provided to decrease COVID cases. She says to purchase the home tests at your local pharmacies as they are becoming more widely available. Testing is slowing down and is not as daunting as the long lines decrease.

Dr. Dowling reminds residents that when you take an at-home test, be sure to report your results. This allows health officials to report the correct number of cases in the area. At Atlantic General Hospital fewer people have been coming in for testing and they are seeing fewer positive cases. However, she says in the hospital there is still a high census but, a decrease in COVID patients. As of this morning, they had 11 COVID patients admitted which was much higher 2 weeks ago. AGH is mostly seeing people who are unvaccinated with more severe cases and older people with comorbidities. Dr. Dowling notes that people who are getting the vaccine still may get COVID, though the odds are different.

“The vaccine does help even if you end up getting COVID. You will not get it nearly as severely,” Dr. Dowling says.

Doctors say your best protection alongside the vaccine is the mask. Dr. Dowling tells us using KN95 and  N95 masks will provide better protection than cloth masks. Also, AGH has access to monoclonal antibody therapies. Doctors say make sure to report your case because these resources may be available to you. Your provider will be able to let you know if you are a good candidate for the therapy.

“I don’t want people staying home and their primary care doesn’t know they’re positive and they could qualify and might benefit from those therapies,” Dr. Dowling tells us.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local News, Maryland