As public coronavirus testing sites close, private options expand

HIALEAH, Fla. – While many public drive-through COVID-19 testing sites are closing, there are still plenty of places to get checked out for the virus.

Drug stores, stand alone clinics and hospitals are options for people looking for both the rapid tests, which are less sensitive, or the more accurate tests, which can take up to 72 hours to receive results.

“We have the capacity to test many more people than we’re currently testing. Even if we hit the numbers that we saw back in July and August, we should be able to get most patients in and out very quickly,” said Dr. Dustin May with MD Now.

Unlike the public drive-through sites, the testing however is not free. Facilities are requiring insurance co-pays or direct payment from those without insurance.

While some sites offer walk-ins with no prescription necessary, others do require an appointment and prescription, so it’s important to check the rules before you go.

Joint swelling

Also in today’s health news, another potential cause for concern: sudden swelling around joints like elbows, knees, ankles and shoulders.

Dr. Alex Fokin, an orthopedic specialist with Memorial Healthcare, said the key for concern is both duration and history of the swelling.

He said it could be a sign of a ligament injury, degenerative arthritis, an infection or a chronic condition like gout.

“People with certain diets can get inflammation around their great toe, their knees, their elbow or shoulder, so gout is something to consider and finally there’s the potential of a tumor around the knee or other joint, but that’s much less common,” Fokin said.

If swelling around a joint doesn’t improve with ice, rest, elevation, compression and anti-inflammatory medication, or if it increases and becomes painful at night, it’s important to see a specialist to rule out something more serious.

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