New Mexico COVID- 19 Case Updates
Total #COVID cases don’t really tell us much about whether our social distancing efforts are working. It is more illustrative to look at # of ACTIVE Cases which is the Total minus (Recovered + Deaths sadly). Total cases will continue to rise, but the Active graph helps us visualize our curve. A flat active line shows we are keeping up with cases.
The number of current hospitalizations is also a good metric to see the remaining capacity to care for severe cases. New Mexico has 344 ICU beds, but remember that those are routinely occupied by other seriously ill patients. So not all 344 beds are necessarily available. There is the capacity to increase the # of beds and not all patients hospitalized are in the ICU. Its clear to see that a close eye should be kept on the number of patients hospitalized to determine necessary levels of physical distancing.
A study published this month compared a patient’s Vitamin D with severity of COVID disease. The results are remarkable. Those with optimal Vitamin D levels >30 had the mild form of COVID over 90% of the time.
Covid-19 PCR Testing
PCR Testing is the most accurate and most reliable form of testing. It “amplifies” the sample, then detects genetic material of the virus itself.We recommend this testing for your employees if they have had contact with a COVID positive co-worker or other person.
This is best done 7-10days after exposure. This can get your employees back to work 2-5days faster, since they don’t have to wait the full 14days of incubation. We now have saliva collection capabilities. Just contact us at 505-585-2345 to get started.
Antigen testing is usually the rapid version of COVID testing. This form of testing is appropriate when an employee has symptoms and COVID positive confirmation is the goal. It is less reliable for screening asymptomatic, exposed employees. The false negative rate is as high as 20%, making it unreliable to confidently return exposed co-workers to work.
Well Life ABQ is only offering PCR testing right now for diagnostics. We hope to have “ABC” testing capabilities by January 2021. This option will be offered to symptomatic individuals to test for Flu A, Flu B and COVID.
COVID Monitoring, Testing, and Return to Work Guidelines
Well Life ABQ is now offering the most accurate PCR Testing to businesses and members! Enter your details below to download the guidelines.
Covid-19 Antibody Testing
Well Life ABQ is now offering antibody testing for COVID-19.
The test measures levels of both the IgM and IgG antibodies. Antibody levels indicate immune response. Serum IgM indicates recent infection and is typically positive within 3 to 10 days of symptom onset.
Serum IgG is often present within 1 to 2 weeks from symptom onset and plateaus around 3 weeks, indicating current or past infection.
The sensitivity of the combined IgM and IgG antibody test is 95.6% and the specificity is 96 %. These percentages indicate that this particular test is good at detecting both antibodies in the blood sample and avoiding false positive and false negative results.
No COVID test has been approved by the FDA due to the rush of getting it on the market, so we have to say this disclaimer that the test has no been FDA approved, but the lab has notified the FDA that these tests have been validated. It is also important to understand that we don’t yet know if antibody presence equals immunity.
COST / INSURANCE
The test does require a blood draw and the cost of the test is $75 for testing both IgG and IgM antibodies. Insurance may cover the cost of the test if you have previously had any symptoms of COVID-19.
There is a $35 processing fee to us for drawing, processing and managing the results. So, if you have insurance the cost is $35. If you do not have insurance the cost is $110.
COST / INSURANCE
The test requires a blood draw and the turnaround time is about 5-7 days.
Well Life ABQ is your healthcare provider throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.
If you are experiencing symptoms, please notify us.
If you need testing or other updates, go to cv.nmhealth.gov or cv.nmhealth.org/should-i-get-tested or call 505-827-0006
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