Last week, approx 4 days after interacting with a patient, I found out that she had tested COVID positive.
I had been wearing only a surgical mask and gloves to examine her for a potential post-birth complication. She was not masked. 1/
On her day of discharge, she reported a family member at home had tested positive. A rapid PCR was sent and returned positive. 3/
But the obvious question would be, how soon could I be be tested? 4/
Testing is not just for my own health, but informs how I need to interact with my family and community.
Plus, I was scheduled to staff L&D the next day. 5/
Next stop, my health plan, Kaiser. Phone visit w a nice doc in 2hrs. No symptoms, no testing.
Both sheepishly greenlit me to work the next day, admitting how counterintuitive it seemed. 6/
But if an exposed frontline healthcare worker cannot access testing and is permitted to continue exposing others, without any attempts to trace my contacts, we are lost. 7/
So I did what I've been doing for the entirety of the pandemic: contacted my underground network of trusted frontline healthcare colleagues to access the latest practices/guidelines where larger systems like government have failed. 8/
But we are a far cry from the kind of openly accessible, serially available testing that would allow us to feel confident resuming business as usual. 10/
I personally will not be the first out the gate if SIP is lifted given what I know now. 11/
Not all are privileged enough to make up a symptom or navigate multiple channels to access testing.
Fingers crossed I'm not re-exposed. And govt learns how to test at scale. 12/