Have you been tested for COVID? How many times? Are you getting tested regularly?

I’m asking the question because a friend of mine (close to 70) just had her fourth test. She’s retired and lives in an apartment alone, but it’s in a retirement community. She’s never had any symptoms. She got tested the first two times out of curiosity mixed with anxiety. The third time it was because of possible exposure. So far all her tests have been negative. She went yesterday on her own for her fourth test because our local numbers are up. She said now she plans to get tested every week.

Have you been tested? Multiple times? I’m guessing for some of you it’s a work precaution or even a work requirement. I’m interested in that, but I’m especially asking people who are either retired/unemployed or strictly working from home and don’t have much (or any) contact with people outside their household bubble. Or, like me, are in their bubble alone.

I haven’t been tested, and I don’t see how the information would be useful at this point. The most prudent thing is to behave as if you and everyone you come in contact with are positive, and living 100% alone, I can do that. If I started to have symptoms, I’d likely get tested just so’s I’d know. And so I could monitor my symptoms carefully. Testing negative would not be a license to change any of my behavior.

What’s your thinking on testing for yourself, your household, others, etc., and the frequency thereof?

Three times this year, preparatory to medical procedures. All were negative.

I asked my doctor this week about both antigen and antibody tests. My aging parents are approaching a critical point as they isolate alone in their house, and I need to visit just to take care of a bunch of maintenance (and tech support) issues. Goal 1: Keep 87 yr old father off ladders.

Short backstory: In March, my eldest became very ill in Singapore and was isolated in his hotel room for a week or so. Eventually the Singaporean doctor declared him fit for travel and he returned home. 4-5 days after his arrival here, we came down with a strange “flu” that lasted about a week. I’ve been curious if we actually had Covid, but the doc dissuaded me from an antigen test, as it would be inconclusive (according to her) at this point. Also, she says having it in the past is no guarantee of inability to pass it on later (if exposed again).

As far as the antibody test, she recommended buying the instant test at the pharmacy a few days prior to my planned visit and checking myself before travel. I will do this as soon as the doc clears me (from non-Covid issues) to travel again, hopefully in Dec.

Note: I’m assuming antigen test is "Have I had it? And antibody test is “Do I have it?”

Once because it was offered via employer. Negative. Have never had any symptoms. I could be tested regularly but I have chosen not to, for several reasons.

Other way around. Antigens are a part of the virus, antibodies are what your body made to fight it which last long after the infection.

I had blood drawn for an antibody test at work once, but it was voluntary, not required and it came back negative. Other than that I’ve never been tested although there was once or twice this year I was sick and wondered if I had it.

I haven’t been tested yet. Although I’m a university employee, and employees are being tested weekly, I don’t work on the main campus so I’m exempt from that.

There have been some rumors that this might change and we’ll have to be tested if we go to our satellite office (no one is working in the office now - we’ve all worked from home since March) between now and at least February, but on Monday I’ll be going into the office for only the third time in the past eight months so I still don’t see myself being tested often even if the rumor pans out.

I’ve been tested three times plus one antibody test. I’ve never had the nasopharyngeal (“brain tickler swab”), just one rapid nose swan, one self-administered nose swab, and one self-administered oral swab. My six- and four- year-old daughters had to get the full brain tickler. The younger one barely flinched. The older one needed to be restrained, poor girl. All tests negative. (Latest results just came in a few minutes ago for the older daughter.)

I also had an antibody year back in the summer. Also negative.

0 for me, my wife, and my older daughter. My 12 year old was tested once after she vomited at school and we had to choose between a 14 day quarantine or a negative COVID test. She was tested a second time after a positive case in her class. The whole class was sent home for 14 days from last exposure, although at least one other kid in her class had a positive case after that.

Is “negative” bad if you don’t have any symptoms? It’s not AIDS. I mean I guess it’s disconcerting not knowing if you are going to get sicker or it ran it’s course and you didn’t know it.

My cousins apparently tested positive in college and never really developed any symptoms. In fact, I’ve read some reports that as many as 40%+ people who test positive never show any symptoms.

We are retired and with the exception of groceries and range time, we don’t go out. I had the antibody test a while back because I was getting my blood drawn for my yearly physical, so why not?

My friend is a government worker and she is getting tested weekly. She doesn’t see clients face to face, but does go out more than us and has children and grands that she sees often. She doesn’t really feel she is at any serious risk of catching it, but if she does test positive she will have to stay home until she tests negative using COVID PTO instead of her personal time off. Basically, she wants a free 2 week staycation.

Well, there is this disturbing information:

(CNN)Most coronavirus infections are spread by people who have no symptoms, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in newly updated guidance.

It’s one of the main reasons mask use is so important, the CDC said.

“Most SARS-CoV-2 infections are spread by people without symptoms,” the agency said in a section of its website devoted to explaining the science of how to use masks to control the spread of the virus.

“CDC and others estimate that more than 50% of all infections are transmitted from people who are not exhibiting symptoms,” it added in the guidance posted Friday.

“This means at least half of new infections come from people likely unaware they are infectious to others.”

I have not been tested. My employer offers them but I go to work so rarely that there hasn’t seemed the need, nor the opportunity without a special trip to be exposed to others. We are not 100% isolated at home, but we aggressively reduce our exposure to crowds always and to long intervals indoors in public insofar as is practical.

My wife was tested several times back in the summer preparatory to various medical procedures. All came back negative.

My aged MIL has been tested several times in her elder living facility following exposure to an infected worker. She tested positive twice in a row, was quarantined, and has not tested positive since. She suffered nothing worse than a cold for a 3 or 4 days; the tests might even have been false positives although I don’t think that’s very likely.

Either you, or your doctor, seems confused.

You may want to check again to see if she has updated her opinion about that, or is willing to give a more nuanced opinion. If not, (or if she is genuinely confused about antigen and antibody tests), you may want to discount her opinions.

Oh, and I’ve been tested. PCR, mid-turbinate and throat swab. Because my work asks/requires me to be tested if I have a headache, and the test is free.

Most likely me, since (as you can see) I’m still unsure about antibody vs antigen.

But it may be moot. I finally went to a long overdue dentist’s appointment Thursday. Got a phone call yesterday – on Friday the hygienist (who spent a half-hour leaning over me cleaning my teeth) began showing symptoms and has since tested positive for Covid. No symptoms for me yet, but it’s probably early in the cycle. I’ll call my primary on Monday to find out what to do next. Presumably I get to snort the giant Q-tip – yet again. Sigh.

I have not. Around here, it seems that you can only get it for free if they deem you at risk. There is a new plan that I’ve recently read about to get much cheaper tests to everyone, saying it would greatly reduce infection numbers, but that plan hasn’t been enacted, and will be at least until January to be even considered.

Test supplies still seem to be limited, and I have never been in contact with anyone known to be exposed, so it seems irresponsible of me to get a test rather than just act like I might be contagious and stay home as much as possible. I have considered a mail-order test, where I can flat out tell them that I (1) can’t afford it and (2) am not currently having symptoms.

I would allow for the test where they see if you’ve got any antibodies, but, since people can still catch it again (especially if their symptoms were mild or non-existent), I would only do so to help science, and not consider a positive test any reason I could be less cautious.

I’m also a bit worried about whether people are taking things seriously enough that I could be safe actually going to get the swab. Hence the reason I’ve only considered the at-home variety of test that I could administer to myself.

What I am hopeful for is this new plan I’ve stumbled upon to get cheaper tests to everyone, and have everyone tested. It seems this could greatly reduce the numbers of infected in the US, if implemented. But we all know it can’t be even considered until January 21st.

No. I’ve had virtually no contact with anyone, and I hope to keep it that way.

Well, DAMN!

The hygienist was masked, right? And even in the Before Times, they wore ginormous plastic shields. I hope she did both. (I’m saying “she,” but maybe it was a guy? Even pronouns have become a touchy area these days…) Sounds like you could be in the clear-- I hope so! I mean, that’s what masking up, etc., is supposed to do, namely, keep people from passing on the virus.

Oh yes. The hygienist appeared ready for a space walk. Gloves, suit, mask, shield, etc. I had to take their word that this was my regular hygienist, since only her eyes showed, and her voice was muffled behind everything.

You’re probably okay. Yeah, you’ll have the brain-reaming Q-tip invasion. But you’re probably okay.