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COVID-19 Testing at Ballad Health
Drive-through and remote test sites across the region
Ballad Health has now opened drive-through and remote testing sites for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across East Tennessee & Southwest Virginia.
COVID-19 testing process
Call first for pre-screening
If you think you might have COVID-19, please call the Ballad Health Nurse Connect hotline at 833-8-BALLAD (833-822-5523) first to be pre-screened.
During this call will speak to a care provider who will talk you through a list of questions and record your symptoms.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or connections to international travel, you will be transferred to a provider over the phone to determine if testing is necessary.
Once a test is ordered, you will be asked to come to the nearest Ballad Health medical testing site.
The COVID-19 test
If you are recommended for testing, you will be asked to take a swab test and then sent home for self-isolation until the test results come back.
Your test results should be available within a matter of days.
Positive test results
If you test positive for COVID-19 but your symptoms are mild, the doctor will send you home for self-isolation.
While many experts are recommending at least 14 days of self-isolation, the decision to discontinue self-isolation should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with your doctor and state and local health departments. The decision will be based on the risk of infecting others.
What treatments are available for COVID-19?
Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
However, similar to the treatment of any viral infection, the following measures can help:
- Get plenty of rest, though you don’t need to stay in bed.
- Stay well hydrated.
- Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to reduce fever and ease aches and pains.* Be sure to follow directions.
*Note: If you are taking any combination cold or flu medicine, keep track of all the ingredients and the doses. For acetaminophen, your total daily dose should not exceed 3,000 mg.
What precautions should be followed during self-isolation?
While in self-isolation, it is important to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for minimizing the risk of spreading the infection to others in your home and community.
CDC recommendations are:
- Stay home, except to get medical care.
- Do not go to work, school or public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation, ride sharing or taxis
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
- Restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask.
- Wear a face mask if possible.
- Wear a face mask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a doctor’s office or hospital.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after you sneeze. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean your hands often.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not share personal household items.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
- After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
- High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.
- Clean and disinfect areas that might have any bodily fluids on them.
- Monitor your symptoms.
- Monitor yourself for fever by taking your temperature twice a day and remain alert for coughing or difficulty breathing.
- If you have not had symptoms and you begin to feel feverish or develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, immediately limit contact with others if you have not already done so. Call your doctor, the Ballad Health Nurse Connect hotline, or your local health department to determine whether you need a medical evaluation.
- Seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens. For example, if you have difficulty breathing. Before going to a doctor's office or hospital, call your doctor and tell them that you have, or you are being evaluated for, COVID-19.
- Put on a face mask before you enter a healthcare facility or any time you may encounter others.
If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have tested positive or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before EMS arrives.
Think you might have COVID-19?
Please call 833-822-5523 to be screened if you are concerned you may be ill with COVID-19. This Ballad Health Nurse Connect line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Or use this Coronavirus Screening Tool to help determine if you or a loved one need to seek medical care.