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COVID-19 Information  |  Testing  |  Virtual Care  |  Visitor Notice

Your COVID-19 Testing Questions Answered

The current surge of the Omicron variant is creating a lot of concern and confusion, especially over whether you need to be tested if you have mild or no symptoms. Area hospitals, including Overlake, are seeing an extremely high number of patients in emergency room and urgent care clinics because of the variant. Family medicine physician Michelle Kauffman, DO, with Overlake Clinics Primary Care – Issaquah weighs in on testing, when to stay home and how to protect yourself against COVID-19. 

Is it necessary to get tested for COVID-19?  

If you are symptomatic and pretty sure it’s COVID-19, we would normally recommend getting tested. However, we are experiencing short supplies, which is causing difficulties and delays with getting tested. We advise you isolate for five days (if symptoms are improving AND you are fever-free for 24 hours) or 10 days if symptoms persist.  

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had confirmed close contact exposure?

If you have had confirmed close contact exposure and you are not vaccinated, stay home for five days. We recommend testing at five days past exposure. 

If you’ve been exposed and are vaccinated, quarantine is not needed. However, if you develop symptoms, you’ll need to quarantine and test.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home. Many people with mild illness are able to recover at home without medical care. See Public Health – Seattle & King County for information about how to care for mild symptoms at home. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. 

When in doubt, please follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 testing at Overlake?

Testing is currently available to those who are experiencing symptoms. Please visit this page for more information. If your symptoms are not severe, try to isolate at home to reserve medical care for vulnerable populations.

Do I need to retest if my at-home test is positive?

If you have a positive at-home test, you are positive; there is no need to get a PCR test. Quarantine for five days (if symptoms are improving and you’re fever free for 24 hours) or 10 days if you have continued symptoms.  

PCR tests can stay positive for a while. Retesting is not helpful, if you are symptom-free and past the 5–10 days of quarantine, you can return to work or school. Your employer may request a doctor’s note for returning to work. 

Are at-home tests accurate?

They are actually fairly accurate. They are more accurate in patients with symptoms compared to without symptoms.

An accuracy comparison of available over-the-counter antigen tests range from 83–96% for a true positive and 91–99% for a negative result.

In regards to PCR testing, accuracy is 95%–100% for a true positive and 96–100% for a true negative. 

What kind of test does Overlake use?

We utilize the PCR nasopharyngeal swab testing, which can take up to 72 hours for results. 

Where can I get a COVID-19 test at Overlake? 

Testing is available at our Urgent Care locations for those who are eligible. Please visit this page for the most up-to-date information. 

Does Overlake offer COVID-19 testing for travel?

No. Travel-related testing is not offered at our clinics.

What can I do to protect myself against COVID-19? 

It is important that we all continue to do our part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others is to get vaccinated or get a booster, continue with good hand hygiene and social distancing practices, wear a high-quality and well-fitting mask, limit travel and avoid crowded areas.

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