So what’s it like, getting a COVID test? WNLP’s Beth Boardman shares her experience

   Amidst the pandemic that has changed our world, don’t forget that COVID-19 tests are still available for free right here in La Porte. Maybe you have no symptoms but worry because a loved one tested positive. Or you were in a public place where some were not wearing masks. Or you have a little tickle in your throat. Or you just want to play it safe.
   But perhaps you’re hesitating. Is the test terribly unpleasant as some have reported? Is it a pain in the gluteus maximus to register? Is it a ridiculously long time until you get your results?
Based on my experience: No, no and no.
   Thanks to funding from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte and the La Porte County Emergency Management Agency, the free tests for anyone who lives or works in Indiana continue for a third month – through September – at the La Porte Civic Auditorium. Testing is available at the Civic Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
   Thousands have taken advantage of the free tests. While the number per day has slowed down some, Mayor Tom Dermody tells WNLP that testing averaged 150 per day in August. The tests are administered by a LaCrosse, Wis.-based firm called Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI).
Here’s how it went when I signed up online for an appointment, underwent the test on Friday, Aug. 21, and got my results.
   Thankfully, I had no symptoms. But I decided to be tested anyway because of a pre-existing condition that might make some people more susceptible to the disease. (In the relatively brief online application process, you are asked if you have any such condition and are given some examples. Don’t worry; even if you have no such conditions you can take the test.)
   The application process is pretty easy. Go to https://lhi.care/covidtesting and follow the directions. (If you don’t have internet access, call 888-634-1116.) In a nutshell, you’re asked to provide a username (you can use your email address) and create a password. You’re then directed to a few pages with simple questions on each. Scroll down on each page to make sure you answer everything. At the bottom of each page are “next” prompts to move you through the application. You don’t have to provide much personal information.
   Once you’re done, the site asks you to select a date and time for your appointment. It shows a calendar where you can click on a date that will work for you and then provides times available. Once you’ve filled in a date and time, it confirms the information. You can ask to be informed of the confirmation via email or cell phone.
   I was informed within minutes via email that my appointment was all set. In my case it was for the next day. I don’t know if the prompt scheduling was because of my pre-existing condition or just because spots were available that soon.
   I walked into the Plain Street entrance to the Civic (with mask on! Don’t forget your mask!) following the signs posted outside. There was no line at the time I went at 10 a.m. on a Friday, but just in case social distancing points are clearly marked inside and out. A short walk led me to a very clean-looking room on the Civic’s lower level. Two LHI testing reps sitting at a table beckoned me over. I had a great experience with the reps who took care of me; they were friendly, even humorous, and immediately put me at ease.
   After answering a few ID questions to confirm my existence in their computer base, the young man in the duo asked me to step behind a 6-foot screen that stood in back of their table. He instructed me to remove my mask only from my nose but to keep it on my mouth. He took a long cotton swab, asked me to tilt my head back slightly, and put the swab up each nostril.
   I’ve heard that some who’ve experience the test say this procedure hurt or was in the least very uncomfortable. Not so for me. It took a few seconds per nostril and my only reaction was that I wanted to sneeze, I assume because of nearly lifetime allergies. Lucky for him and me (mostly him!), I was able to stifle my sneezes until, like Elvis, I left the building. The whole testing procedure took maybe 3 minutes. Add the check-in time and I would say I was in the Civic for no more than six or eight minutes.
   By the time I got home about 15 minutes later, I had already received an email reminding me to try to stay home until my test results were emailed to me within 48 to 72 hours. Since I tested on a Friday, I figured the 72-hour time frame was more likely for me.
   I checked my email on Monday morning, Aug. 24, to find a message that contained my results. After providing my username and password (be sure to make a note of those so you can access your results quickly), a screen popped up that said my results were negative. While I wasn’t particularly concerned in the first place, I have to admit I was relieved.
   Now, I realize testing experiences will be different for some. A parent holding a screaming child, a person not feeling too well, or an individual who hates the thought of someone invading his nasal membranes will no doubt be a little more uncomfortable than I was. But in the end, it’s a simple and free test that might help us protect ourselves – and others – from a deadly disease. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time!
   To schedule an appointment for a free COVID-19 test at the Civic, go to https://lhi.care/covidtesting and follow the instructions. If you don’t have internet access, call 888-634-1116.
   For more information on LHI, visit logisticshealth.com.

3 Responses to “So what’s it like, getting a COVID test? WNLP’s Beth Boardman shares her experience”

  1. Me2

    Sep 02. 2020

    My experience was very similar and while I had not suffered any symptoms, I thought it would be a good idea to be tested. I’m thankful for the opportunity and appreciated the professionalism of the staff doing the test.

    Thanks for sharing this, Beth!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Deacon Frank

    Sep 02. 2020

    Beth, this was may experience as well. It was simple, fast and easy. My results came back in two days. I was negative. The best part is that it was free so a big “Thanks” to the HCF for providing this important service. Thank you for raising our awareness to get tested.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Marcia Wolff

    Sep 02. 2020

    Thanks for the info, Beth. It no longer sounds quite so intimidating’

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply