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‘Confirmation’ testing taxes RRH

RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL  (RRH)—  As our local health care system continues to feel the resource constraints of the pandemic, officials urged the public to partner in this endeavor by trusting the results of their home antigen test kits for COVID.

“We have seen a lot of people coming into Urgent Care for the PCR test after getting a positive COVID result on an antigen test,” said Brenda Diel, quality administrator of RRH. 

“Because the antigen test is evaluating symptoms for the presence of COVID, you do not need a ‘confirmation’ test. A positive result on a home test means that you have COVID, and you need to adhere to the necessary safety precautions for getting healthy and restricting your exposure to other people.”

The government has made home tests available for this purpose, she said. Individuals can visit to order, and confirm eligibility, for free home test kits. 

Diel noted that in the third year of pandemic, RRH and other healthcare institutions continue to feel the pinch of resource constraints (in labor, materials and reimbursements) that have challenged our fiscal viability and sustainability. By making use of home tests, the community can help ensure that healthcare resources are preserved for urgent and emergent needs.

“People who are monitoring Kern County COVID trends can see that we are definitely experiencing a small spike, and that county trend appears to be consistent with the increase in positivities we are seeing in our own community,” said Diel.

“The good news is that the symptoms in current COVID cases appear to be much milder, which means we have not been seeing the hospitalizations that often come with a spike.

“But it’s still important to take precautions that will keep our community safe and healthy. If you test positive for COVID, make sure you follow the public health protocols. And for everyone else, practice social distancing and masking where appropriate, exercise good hygiene, and stay home when you’re sick.”