After being around several large crowds, it felt like the right time to finally get tested for COVID-19 as a precaution. I had shown no symptoms and honestly did not think I would be a carrier, but with several reports of asymptomatic people still testing positive, it felt like the right time to find out just what it was like to go through the testing process.

Overall the process could not have been easier. The appointment was made through OptumServe’s website at lhi.care. Those who wish to get tested must register an account and fill out a form with personal information and a questionnaire asking about your symptoms or lack thereof. Despite listing that I had no symptoms, the website directed me to pick a time and place to do the test. There was availability to get tested later in the same day, but I opted to schedule an appointment for the following day at a testing center closest to where I live.

The drive to the location took longer than the actual test itself. All patients that register through OptumServe are given an account number that they must present when they arrive. Patients are asked to show up wearing a face covering. You will not be allowed in without a mask and the account number. The receptionist took my account number then verified my identity by asking my last name and date of birth.

Moments later, they sat me down in a chair and asked me to clear my nose with a tissue.

The nurse warned me that there might be a bit of a sting and that I may tear up as a reaction to the swabbing.

I asked how often her patients showed discomfort or cried as a reaction to the swabbing, and she jokingly replied, “I have been saying that I should change my job description to making people cry.” We both got a laugh out of it.

After that, a swab was inserted deep into my nostril, and she swabbed around in a circle. This is the most uncomfortable part of the process. It indeed stung a little. Although I felt the tear ducts filling up, I managed not to cry but could see how it caused that reaction. It was overall a painless and rather swift ordeal. There was a leftover tingling sensation in my nostril for a few hours after, but nothing else to report otherwise.

Before I knew it, I was done, and they handed me an information sheet about how and when I could expect to get the results. It took four days to get the results back through the email I used to register the account. I received a phone call notifying me that the results had arrived.

After promptly logging into my account at OptumServe’s website, it was revealed that I tested negative.

The entire process was free. I was not charged or asked about billing once during the process, although it does ask for your insurance information (if you have insurance) during the application process.

Don’t hesitate to get tested. The process is easy enough and it will help inform you if you need to be concerned or not.

PI reporter

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