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As anxiety continues to grow with U.S. visitors seeking Covid-19 tests in Puerto Vallarta, one local doctor is offering at home service to collect the test and send off to a lab for processing.
Dr. Aurelio Jiménez, owner of Doctor At Home PV, and his staff are offering to make a house call to collect the sample, and they will then send it to the local lab they work with (Sanlor). He said if the sample is taken before 10 a.m., the result would be ready the next afternoon (only Monday to Friday). There is an option for a same-day result, but that costs more. His charge is $500 pesos, and the lab will charge $3,000 pesos.
He cautions people to stay in quarantine after the test,
“I have this advice for the visitors. After the sample collection we ask them to stay at home, all the time, because if your sample is collected on Monday and the patient goes to a party that night, they can be infected and spread the disease to more people – thinking that they are Covid negative because of test.”
Dr. Jiménez said there were four places that were popular with tourists seeking the test.
“Right now, the most popular places for the PCR are Sanlor lab (CMQ hospital lab), Hospital Joya, Diagnosti-K, and Sanmare Hospital,” he said. “The regular cost of these labs is around $4,000 pesos but for travelers, they have special discounts. In Sanlor, for example, the cost it’s $3,000 pesos.
Dr. Jiménez cautioned to be careful on the type of test that you are requesting or getting. The U.S. is requiring a viral test.
The CDC has a page of FAQ on its website. You can view those here. The CDC says you can get a NAAT or antigen test.
“Get tested no more than 3 days before your flight to the US departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19,” the CDC says. “Also make sure that you receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results to show the airline.”
There are two types viral tests that the CDC will accept:
- PCR or antigen test
- PCR Test: To diagnose current infections, a nose (nasopharyngeal) swab, and/or a throat swab is collected; sometimes a saliva sample may be collected. The PCR test is looking to detect the virus’s RNA in a respiratory tract sample from a patient. This is the gold standard of testing.
- Rapid Antigen Tests: These tests detect the viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples. The main advantages of antigen tests are that they can provide results in minutes, are simpler than PCR tests to perform, and are sometimes used at the point of care, such as at a health clinic. However, they are not as sensitive as PCR tests, so negative results do not rule out infection.
He strongly urges to plan ahead and to make an appointment well before you leave. He said he is available via WhatsApp, Facebook messaging or email.
“We can offer multiple options, depending on what the person needs and their flight times,” he said.
For more information:
Dr. Aurelio Jiménez
Doctor At Home PV
Other Covid-19 Testing Options:
Both SETAC locations are providing three different types of tests. SETAC Wellness Center is located at Lazaro Cardenas #379 and Aldanaca #178 . You must call 322 224 1974 for an appointment. English is spoken. $4,000 pesos – Cash or Credit accepted.
SanMare Healthcare Group