UPDATED COVID PROTOCOLS: Rapid Antigen Testing Now Routine
Our office remains vigilant in the prevention of COVID, using the latest proven techniques to minimize the risk to our patients and office. Our most recent update includes the use of an in-office rapid antigen testing (by nasal swab) on every patient the morning of their procedure. The FDA has authorized this test via an emergency use authorization (EUA). From a technical perspective, the BD Veritor™??? System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 is a chromatographic immunoassay for the direct and qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens. While PCR collection continues to be the gold standard (and may be additionally required on some patients, depending on their procedure), the antigen test is the latest innovation available to us for painless and rapid results in 15 minutes or less.
Other steps we continue to follow include daily patient and staff screening upon entering the office, staggering clinic schedules so there is no waiting in a reception room, limiting the amount of patient companions and non-essential staff in office, and providing the latest personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff and patients alike. We are obtaining IgM and IgG antibody levels as part of preoperative bloodwork prescription when indicated. For those patients who may require PCR testing, such as those having beard hair transplants or certain facial plastic surgery procedures, we now have access to rapid (24 to 48 hour) turn-around testing available via email appointment (additional fees may be required).
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to release best practices and protocols on preventative measures, and information on the virus’ incubation period and testing and vaccination availability in our local areas, we will adopt them and relay those messages directly to you. If you have any questions regarding our latest protocols of testing, please email one of our nurse practitioners AndreaNP@fhrps.com or LidiaNP@fhrps.com who are supervising compliance and are available to advise patients.
We remain committed to the health of our patients and staff and look forward to continuing to serve you in 2021.