First off let me say DO NOT PAY FOR A COVID TEST! Second, PLEASE PRE-REGISTER. Ok now the logistics: At the end of September, we received a phone call from one of our kid's schools that our child had been in direct contact with another child that tested positive for Covid-19. Our kid had to quarantine for 14 days. And even with a negative test result, our child would not be let back to school until those 14 days were up.
They told us that we didn't need to lock our family down because it was "secondary exposure", that's from the CDC, not the school, but that didn't seem right to me and my hubby so we locked the fam down. We all got tested. I started with my pediatrician, or you can start with your doc, but neither one is necessary. Anyone can get tested at any time FOR FREE. I will get back to that.
We all tested negative and went about our mask-wearing, hand washing, hand sanitizer lives. But BOOM, this time an email from the school saying another one of our kids was in contact with someone that tested positive and they have to quarantine for 14 days. This time we were more prepared so here's what we did that you can do too, at anytime. CALL THE HARTFORD HEALTHCARE CRITICAL COMMAND CENTER at 1-833-621-0600. This is your lifeline believe me. The nurses answering your calls are AMAZING and informed and BEYOND helpful. Since we had been tested already, they had all our info on file, names, dates of birth, last results, etc. They put us all in to be tested that day, around 1 and the nurse told us the wait was about an hour at the testing center at Midstate Medical Center in Meriden. THIS TEST IS FREE and it is NOT a rapid test! Keep in mind that urgent care centers do rapid testing and they ARE charging for them. They can do this because they are privately owned.
For the test at Midstate Medical Center, I'm here to tell you that you NEED to empty all your stuff out of your body before you go (USE THE BATHROOM & DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING WHILE YOU ARE WAITING). We ended up waiting almost 3 hours in the car with 5 kids. The two older ones had to leave the car at one point to find a bathroom because, well, poop happens, and we saw one woman trying to get her toddler to pee in the woods. Trust me when I tell you, the wait is LONG! And this, by the way, is through no fault of HCC or Midstate. It's just all of us getting tested.
When you do finally get up to the testing, a lovely man on a walkie calls "check in" and gives everyone in the car's name and date of birth to them and they confirm that you're registered and send you into the appropriate line. Now you absolutely can get in line if you're not registered, they will send you to the side tent to register and then send you forward to get tested, YOU WON'T go to the back of the line, but it will take you about 5 to 10 minutes longer, depending on how many people you have in the car.
The test process is the same. They DO NOT swab your brain, I assure you. Most of the kids admit that it tickles even. You stay in your car and the nurses come to the window. You pull your mask down off your nose ONLY and they swab each nostril for 10 to 15 seconds and that's it. You will get your test results in 2 to 3 days via the Hartford Healthcare MyChartPLUS site or app and that's it!
Again the wait is the worst part of the whole thing so empty your bladder and crank up Country 92-5 to keep you company! Good luck, stay healthy!