Let’s be honest with ourselves. We’ve all once thought in our life, “I probably won’t get COVID-19 from just waiting in line for COVID-19 testing… right?”
Well… you’re completely wrong. You can most definitely get COVID-19 from waiting in line. In that line, you have no idea who has COVID-19 or not because you are all there to test for it. In that frame of time that you spend standing next to others, you could become exposed to or even contract COVID-19. Testing sites are overloaded with patients; healthy patients who could potentially contract COVID-19 while waiting to get tested. There is much being done at the moment, and we must increase measures such as asking all patients to space out and stand in lines. However, even with this, the risk is too high.
Widespread contamination could be more controlled if testing sites followed the guidelines of vaccination sites. Many vaccination sites require patients to sign up for a time slot in which they will come and receive their vaccine. For example, the Holy Name Medical Center requires everyone to sign up online in order to efficiently confirm age, whether it is the first dose, second dose, or booster, from which company they will receive their vaccine, along with what date and time they will receive it. This allows there to only be a certain amount of people in a room at a time, which helps with social distance, contact tracing, and contamination. Implementing this into the system at testing sights would help protect both patients and healthcare workers.
Healthcare workers are doing the most that they can to protect their patients, and ordinary people are doing the most they can to protect one another. Be part of the collective effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Graphic: Sunny Rhew