Many of you may know that I have been an out-of-print bookseller for decades. Recently I was called to evaluate someone’s books – something I am always happy to do. We met in her drive, discussed we were both vaccinated and feeling healthy. I was shown the home and books.
The next afternoon (Friday) I received a call. “Ray, I just received positive COVID test results following an exposure I had.” “What?” I exclaimed. She then proceeded to tell me the COVID TESTING Hot-Line phone number in Keene. She should have told me she had been exposed to COVID, and should have told me she was awaiting test results from that exposure. If told, I would have either worn my mask or left. Lesson here – be respectful of your neighbors and be truthful, and even if told by someone you do not really know that they are fine – doubt them.
I immediately called the Hot-Line – 603 354-6700 – at the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene. Good concise detailed message. You can leave a message for a return call within 48 hours, or visit: https://www.cheshiremed.org/patients-visitors/covid-19-testing-faq – for testing information. I left a message with the information they asked for and requested a return call. I then went to the website address. Not totally intuitive at first, but you are directed to the Dartmouth Hitchcock portal – myD-H patient portal at mydh.org – and then to – https://www.mydh.org/portal/ – to make an appointment. I am in the Dartmouth Hitchcock system, but if you are not you can register.
Doing some fast research, I learned, “It can take almost a week after exposure to COVID-19 to have a positive test result. If you are fully vaccinated, you should wait three to five days after exposure before getting a test. Evidence suggests that testing tends to be less accurate within three days of exposure.” I was at the house Thursday morning, so made an appointment for Monday – four days after my possible exposure.
Not 18 hours after I left a message on the Cheshire Medical Center hot-line I received a call (on a Saturday) from Tonya. Gave her the brief story, and said that I was able schedule my appointment on-line. She was thrilled, provided some tips of what to watch for and said, “please tell people about the hot-line and how to schedule a test.” Little did she know that I have a way to share the information with many people. So, now you have the information, and hopefully will not need it. Arriving for my test, all went smoothly. This is a saliva test, so you are given a vial to fill to a certain level, spin around to another parking spot to accomplish that task, and then deposit the vial in the receptacle for testing.
Stay safe and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher
Update 5 October — I got email to get test results on the Dartmouth website, of course the portal for records appeared to be down for well over an hour. Just got in — lots of legalize and disclaimers, but I am “Saliva Symptoms Asymptomatic – “Not Detected” — “A result of “Not Detected” indicates that the viral RNA target is not present but does not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection. False negative results may occur if a specimen is improperly collected, transported or handled;” Guess I am alright, however, comma, I will continue to mask and distance. RAY