Covid-19 update from Dr. Warcup

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 6:30pm
The following update was shared by Block Island Medical Director Dr. Tom Warcup on Thursday, Nov. 5:
Dear Block Island Community:
Click this link to watch Dr. Warcup's latest video update:
Here is a written summary of Dr. Warcup's video:
BIHS has an Abbott rapid machine that can help us with rapid identification of symptomatic patients. It has an effectiveness of 80-85%. For patients with elevated clinical suspicions, a nasopharyngeal swab will be necessary to complete their evaluation. The results of that swab, commonly called the PCR test, will take 3-5 days. During that time, the patient is expected to quarantine. 
If you feel you have been exposed, it is crucial that you quarantine for 14 days. Some recommendations are leaning towards 24 days due to the growing numbers in our state. 
Immediate testing is not required or recommended. Testing only gives us a point in time. Remember that the incubation period of COVID-19 averages between 2 and 5 days. We are working with the state to increase testing capacity over the next several weeks.
Block Island had it's 13th known case yesterday and steps were taken to protect the patient and the community. The Department of Health is aware and conducting their contact tracing. However, please be patient because they are dealing with a surge in cases. Please remember that contact tracing is dependent on our thoroughness regarding where we have been and the people we have been with. Please be as accurate as possible. Feeling the need to rapidly get tested does not change the reality of needing to quarantine, wear masks, use good hand hygiene and social distance.
We are at the critical point of rising COVID numbers in our region. If you own a business, please consider asking all employees to wear masks. It is our responsibility to hold each other accountable.
Please consider cancelling gatherings of more than 10 people. 
Get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!
As always, the Medical Center is here to assist with questions.
Thank you,
Dr. Tom Warcup