Cases are very clearly on the rise again. At the time of writing, the United States is experiencing a surge that dwarfs the initial spike and surpasses the summer peak. With cooler weather upon us and the holidays approaching, it is now more important than ever to not let your guard down. Stick to the basics: wear a mask at all times inside public spaces, keep your distance, wash your hands.
No one on our team has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 to date (knock on wood), but the nature of the job in a small space like Sightsee requires us to come into the proximity of a lot of people. Out of concern for our team and community, one of us gets tested every 4-6 weeks just to make sure we're not asymptomatic carriers. Having done so since April, we've become pretty familiar with the process.
The good news is that, based on our experience without billing insurance, it seems to be free through MUSC and doesn't require any in-person doctor visit. The bad news is that the process is a bit cumbersome.
Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee that this is how it will continue to work or that your experience will mirror ours. This is simply to offer some guidance to get you started. If your experience differs in any way we're not responsible. Just saying.
Step 1: Create MUSC virtual care account
You'll start by going to this site and creating an account: https://muscvirtualcare.zipnosis.com/guest_visits/start
Step 2: Complete virtual visit
You'll start a virtual visit and when you get to the "Reason for Visit" pick COVID-19. You may see a $25 visit fee charge initially but in our experience that fee does not apply if it is for a COVID test. It may not be free for you so no guarantees.
When you click select you'll be prompted to complete a series of questions. Answer them however you see fit based on your situation!
Step 3: Wait to be notified of treatment plan
After you complete the virtual visit you'll be notified that a treatment plan is available. It may come via email/text/both or you can just log in to musc.zipnosis.com to check.
Step 4: Create MUSC MyChart account
If you do not already have an account, you'll need to create one here: https://mychart.musc.edu/mychart/
Step 5: Schedule your test
If the treatment plan based on your virtual visit is to get a COVID-19 test, you will be able to do so from within your MUSC MyChart portal. You simply pick the location and time that is most convenient for you.
Step 6: Get tested
It is likely to be a drive-up testing facility. Again, we can't guarantee it but that's been our experience. If that is the case, you just drive up, wait in line, and a fantastic technician will swab the inside of your nose while you sit in the driver's seat and never leave the car. It only takes about 10 seconds to complete the swab and then you're on your way. Joel thought they scraped his brain and almost cried the first time. Other members of the team did not find it so unpleasant and may or may not consider Joel to be a bit of a baby. For what it's worth, Joel would like to report that he did not mind subsequent visits and finds it to be easy-peasy now.
Step 7 (final): Get your results
You will be notified via email/text when your results are ready. The wait time varies dramatically based on how many people are getting tested. We've had it take anywhere from 6 hours to 2 days. Usually it is well within 24 hours but that, like everything else here, is not guaranteed.
That's it! More important than knowing how to get tested, though, is doing what it takes to prevent a positive test result. Please, please, please do not spend time inside public places without a mask on. Make sure you are not exposing yourself to COVID or being exposed by family when you gather at the holidays. Stay safe and we'll get through this together!