I was tested for COVID-19 today. Not because I had symptoms or because I was around anyone who had a confirmed case or because I travelled to a “hot spot” area. I was tested because I care about my community.
As an employee of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, I participated in a Point Prevalence Survey testing for COVID-19. A PPS entails testing all individuals in a designated area of a facility, whether or not they have symptoms, on one day. The mass testing VMRC conducted with residents in its assisted living, long-term care and short-term rehab communities, employees working in those areas and employees working in independent living communities is critical for our Life Plan/continuing care community to begin the process of reopening and phasing into limited visitation.
When I arrived on campus, I was greeted by a group of my colleagues at the entrance to the test site. They confirmed I had my paperwork completed. (This conversation actually took longer than the test.)
As I drove up to the test area, members of the Virginia Air National Guard were testing my coworkers. Paramedics with the Virginia Guard are trained to conduct large scale testing. Two Guard members approached my car, received my test packet and explained the procedure. In less than 10 seconds, the test was completed. It felt as if someone had pinched my nose. That was all I felt.
The Guard’s professionalism and courtesy made me appreciate their service. And, I told them that. I am grateful for these qualified and trained professionals who can conduct large scale testing in our communities in a pandemic. Test results can be used to intervene early in outbreaks and begin the process of re-opening establishments like retirement communities so that residents may have limited visits with their families.
Was I apprehensive about getting tested? Yes, because I didn’t know what to expect. I also don’t like getting shots, having blood drawn or any other procedure that makes me uncomfortable. Was it something I’d do again? If necessary, yes.
I’m a part of the population that heeds recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s and Gov. Northam’s orders about wearing face masks. It’s not a “sacrifice.” A face mask is part of my wardrobe now, and I’ve grown to choose one to match my outfit. Wearing a face mask makes a difference. I can make a difference because I care about my community.
VMRC, Director of Public Relations