If you think a negative test result means you don’t have coronavirus, you could be wrong.
It can take days before a new infection shows up on a Covid-19 test.
“We know that the incubation period for Covid-19 is up to 14 days. And before that, you can be testing negative, and have no symptoms,” emergency medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen told CNN. “But you could actually be harboring the virus and be able to transmit it to others.”
So if you want to get tested as a precaution before seeing friends or family, here’s what you need to know:
If I got infected yesterday, would a test today pick that up?
Probably not. A study in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine examined false-negative test results of people who actually had Covid-19.
The study estimated that during four days of infection before symptoms typically started, the probability of getting an incorrect/negative test result on Day 1 was 100%.
On the day people started showing symptoms, the average false-negative rate had dropped to 38%, according to the study. Three days after symptoms started, the false-negative rate dropped to 20%.
“The virus just takes time to replicate in the body to detectable levels,” said Justin Lessler, a senior author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“You can get infected by just a few viral particles, but these will not be detectable until they have time to replicate to adequate levels to be detected,” he told CNN by email.
So how many days should a person wait after possible exposure to get tested?
“There is no hard and fast rule, but the evidence suggests getting a test before the third day after exposure is not of much use,” Lessler said.
Could I be contagious while testing negative?
Absolutely. “People sort of feel like if you test (negative), you’re out of the woods. And you’re kind of not,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, chief of the infectious diseases division at Massachusetts General Hospital.
For people who get sick with Covid-19, symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear, but the average time is about five days, Walensky said.
“It’s generally thought that you’re most infectious the two days before that day and the two days after that,” she said.
One reason why this virus spreads so easily is because people can be infectious without any symptoms. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 40% of infections are asymptomatic, and 50% of transmissions happen before symptoms begin.
“It’s been among the biggest Achilles’ heels
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state of New York.
- Those traveling to the state will need to test negative for the disease within three days of their trip and quarantine immediately upon entering.
- After three days, that traveler must also get a second test for COVID-19, and if it is negative, they will be permitted to cease quarantining, the state announced.
- New Yorkers who are leaving the state for less than 24 hours do not need to obtain a test before returning to the state but must be tested within four days of returning to the state.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday a new travel mandate for people who come to the state.
Under the new rules, if an individual is traveling to New York, they must test negative for COVID-19 within three days of making their trip, the governor’s office said. Once they arrive in New York, they must quarantine for a three-day period before receiving an additional test for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
If the results of the second COVID-19 test are also negative, a person is permitted to end their period of quarantine. If an individual is traveling from New York to another state for a period fewer than 24 hours, they do not need to be tested before returning but must get tested within four days of returning to New York.
The Saturday announcement replaces a previous policy that required individuals to quarantine for a two-week period if they were coming to the state from a list of more than 40 states that did not meet criteria set by state officials.
The change comes as the US deals with the latest wave of COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the US reported nearly 100,000 new cases of the virus: shattering the record for the most cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began.
—Jack Sterne (@JRSterne) October 31, 2020
While President Donald Trump has continued to blame the increase on an increase in testing for the disease, The COVID Tracking Project reported that the number of positive cases was rising more sharply than the number of tests administered, according to a previous Business Insider report.
While the state of New York saw the most severe outbreak of COVID-19 nationally, it was able to stem the spread of the virus in the spring and summer months. But as temperatures cool and cases spike across the US, cases in New York have also begun to rise.
The positive rate in the state over the past week is about 1.5% over the past week, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. While that’s lower than the 6.4% rate nationally over the past seven days, it’s higher than the end of summer when the rate in New York dipped below 1%.
In “focus zones” — areas of the state where officials are
Co-Authored by Florida Cancer Specialists Oncologists Lucio Gordan, MD and Michael Diaz, MD, Study Predicts Significant Increase in Late-Stage Cancers and Potentially More Cancer Deaths
President & Managing Physician Lucio Gordan, MD; Assistant Managing Physician Michael Diaz, MD
Fort Myers, Fla., Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lucio Gordan, MD, President and Managing Physician of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) and FCS Assistant Managing Physician Michael Diaz, MD are co-authors of a new national study that details the devastating effect the COVID-19 crisis has had on cancer screenings, diagnosis and treatment. Conducted for the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) by Avalere Health and in collaboration with Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, FASCO, executive vice president, policy and strategic initiatives at Texas Oncology, the study is scheduled to be published in the November issue of the journal JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics. Its findings show a substantial decrease in the number of cancer screenings, diagnosis and treatment for senior adults and Medicare beneficiaries in 2020.
Gordan, Diaz and colleagues were part of the study’s research team of oncologists who reported that they are already seeing patients being diagnosed with later stage cancers, which require more complex treatment and often result in higher morbidity and mortality rates. “In the early months of the pandemic,” Dr. Gordan explained, “many people chose or had to delay or even skip regular screenings, such as mammograms, prostate exam, PSA testing or colonoscopies, among others, for various types of cancer. This has resulted in later diagnoses for some patients and delays in beginning treatment. Oncologists are preparing their practices for significant impact in cancer patient outcomes due to these delays.”
Dr. Diaz, who also serves as President of COA, concurs. “If cancers are not diagnosed at an early stage, we could face rising death rates for several years to come,” he said. “It is critical that adults with a family history of cancer and others who may be experiencing symptoms do not delay their screenings for the fear of being exposed to or contracting coronavirus. Medical practices now have numerous strategies in place to protect the safety and health of patients, doctors, nurses and other staff members.”
One positive revealed in the study was the rapid adoption of telehealth and other strategies by community oncology practices, such as Florida Cancer Specialists. Dr. Gordan said, “Community oncologists and their team members showed incredible resilience and resolve to deal with this severe crisis, by adopting telehealth very quickly, reorganizing workflows, enhancing safety processes at their clinics, and migrating staff to work from home, among other strategies. Although a decrease in services was inevitable, the resolve of these practitioners and staff handled and avoided what could have been a much worse situation.”
The study concludes that further analysis will be needed to evaluate the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 and its probable long-term impact on cancer care and outcomes.
The full study can be found online
Dr. Adalja advises Pence to self-quarantine despite negative coronavirus test after aides test positive
Infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja told “America’s News Headquarters” on Sunday that he would advise Vice President Mike Pence to cancel any travel and self-quarantine after four staffers and an outside adviser tested positive for the coronavirus.
Pence, who with second lady Karen Pence tested negative Sunday, is still at “significant” risk of exposure. Nine days from Election Day, he plans to maintain his planning campaign travel to Kinston, N.C., Sunday, his office said.
“The vice president is at very high risk for developing coronavirus,” Adalja said. “Him getting daily tests is only going to take the risk down a little bit. There probably is a need for him to self-quarantine for 14 days based on the amount of people around him that are positive.”
5 CLOSE TO PENCE TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, VP TO MAINTAIN CAMPAIGN SCHEDULE, OFFICE SAYS
Adalja said he’d like to know the nature of the interactions Pence has had with his aides prior to confirmed infection, and if masking was involved.
Adalja said he “can’t say that it’s safe” to continue to campaign.
“He likely was significantly exposed,” he said. “And we know that a test is just one moment in time and that you can’t test yourself out of self-quarantine.”
Adalja suggested Pence follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance surrounding coronavirus exposure by quarantining regardless of test results, holding the vice president to the standard “every American is held to.”
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The New York Times is reporting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has tried to keep news of the recent outbreak quiet, which Adalja said is a public safety hazard.
“You want to be as transparent as possible,” he said. “And we want people to know who might’ve interacted with the vice president that they could’ve been significantly exposed. … That’s how we move forward in this pandemic is being very open about who’s at risk.”
This is an opinion column.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth is getting some nasty messages since he tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Guess Karma and Natural Selection caught up with your dumb white ass,” said one email Ainsworth shared with me. “May you die gasping for your last breath!”
It’s probably not a spiritually safe practice to invoke karma in one sentence before wishing someone death in the next, but moving on.
“You’re 1 step closer to (skull emoji, coffin emoji, laughing-through-tears emoji),” one fellow tweeted at him.
Yes, when sending hate-tweets, please limit your hieroglyphics to three.
Let’s be clear, no matter how you feel about Ainsworth, wishing death on people is not OK. No matter how cathartic it might feel, it’s not good for your soul, and from a more secular standpoint, it just gives the folks you’re hate-mailing more reason to believe you’re crazy and they’re right.
Which is a shame, because I believe there’s a lesson the lieutenant governor could learn here, and I think there’s a better message he could send than the one he’s been sharing, before and after his diagnosis.
Since Ainsworth went public with his test (points for transparency), he has been a bit defensive about it. That’s understandable. The lieutenant governor has criticized Gov. Kay Ivey for keeping a statewide mask mandate in place, and he’s said the decision whether to wear a mask should be left to the individual. He still says that, even now.
But Wednesday night, Ainsworth wanted to make clear he’d been wearing a mask when he thinks he contracted the disease.
“Because I follow social distancing rules and wear a mask both in church and in my daily interactions, the positive result shows that even those of us who are the most cautious can be at risk,” he said.
Now, others on social media have found pictures of Ainsworth not doing either of those things. Heck, he shares them on Twitter. But I’ll let that be.
Again, there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here.
Ainsworth tested positive on Wednesday and says he suspects he contracted the disease at his church on Sunday. Aside from a runny nose — which he told me allergies give him much of the year — he hasn’t had any symptoms. He had been active on Monday and Tuesday, and he played tennis the night before he tested positive. If it weren’t for his pastor informing him a member of his Sunday school class had fallen ill, Ainsworth says he might never have checked.
And that’s the thing. And let’s shout this one so the sinners’ pew can hear it: Masks aren’t to protect you from the disease; they protect others when you have the disease and don’t know it.
It doesn’t matter so much whether Ainsworth wore a mask at church. It matters whether the person he got it from was wearing a mask.
And it matters less whether he was wearing a mask on Sunday than if he wore