Hotline for COVID Symptoms Diagnosis Available: New Test Info Released by Mammoth Hospital

Staff Writer

The Mono County Health Department and Mammoth Hospital are sharing important information to the public regarding COVID-19 lab testing in Mono County.

Criteria for Testing COVID-19 testing is available. If you or a family member are sick, please call the Mono County COVID-19 Nurse Hotline at 211 or (760) 924-1830. A Registered Nurse is available 7-days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The nurse will advise you on if you are safe to stay home and isolate, or if you need to be seen by a healthcare professional at Mammoth Hospital. You will also be given resources on how to help keep you and your family safe.

If you are sick, please isolate yourself for at least 7 days. To come out of isolation, you MUST have at least 3 days without fever AND your symptoms are gone.

Information on Testing for COVID-19 Nasal Swab Testing is looking for an active COVID-19 infection. The swab is inserted into the nose and is then sent to the lab to look for the presence of the virus. This is currently the only test available to identify people who have active infection and can spread it to others. It is not a perfect test, so if you have symptoms and the test is negative, you should still isolate at home for at least 7-days and have 3-days of no fever and no symptoms.

Nasal swab testing is currently available at Mammoth Hospital by referral from the Public Health COVID-19 Nurse Hotline. It also may be available through Toiyabe Indian Health Project (Coleville/Walker and Bishop clinics) and at Northern Inyo Hospital in Bishop.

Antibody Tests are blood tests looking for the antibodies that create immunity after we have been exposed to the virus. These antibodies start to appear about two weeks after we have been infected and may be helpful to determine who is protected from becoming infected in the future. This type of testing may be very useful to help determine who in our population is no longer at risk to become infected.

Both the Public Health Department and Mammoth Hospital are very interested in antibody testing, but do not believe there is enough information about the accuracy of the test to begin using it for the public. As we continue to review the research on this type of testing, this recommendation will likely change.