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What say you guys? #253938
04/24/2021 12:12 PM
04/24/2021 12:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 317
vacanakey Offline OP
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vacanakey  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 317

Our flight to SXM leaves Miami at 11:30am on Monday 5-31-21. We are making a 3 hour drive and doing a Park/Sleep/Fly Sunday evening.(5/30) We have a couple different testing options available to us, but wanted to get opinions from some of you who have been there/done that.

We both work for a large grocery chain that provides both the rt-PCR and antigen test to its employees for free. I thought we would get our PCR test on Wednesday and hopefully get it back in time to submit to EHAS and get approved. The turnaround time for results is 3-5 days and it happens to be a holiday weekend that weekend, which further muddies the picture. As a backup plan, I thought we would also schedule an antigen test for that Saturday afternoon and get our resuts back in a few hours. Then we could upload the results to EHAS and hopefully get approved before we drive down to KC. I'm not sure what to expect for processing time with EHAS on the weekend, so this leaves me feeling unsettled as well.

Another option is to have our PCR test taken at an outside facility that guarantees results in 24 hours at 100.00 per person. This means we would get our results on Thursday and get them uploaded to EHAS that same day giving us a couple days of breathing room. This is if we don't run into a snag with an app being denied for some reason.
Hate to spend 200.00 if I dont have to, but this option probably gives us the best chance of getting approved in time for our departure.

What say you guys?

SXM Sponsors
Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253939
04/24/2021 12:19 PM
04/24/2021 12:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Where did you get your estimate of turnaround time? Have you talked to any fellow employees who have actually had tests recently? I would probably elect to save the $200, unless you are really a hyper kind of person (which I am, by the way... laugh) Definitely schedule an antigen test as a backup..

We are going to do a PCR test and hope it comes back quickly, so we can get our actual approval sooner, but will schedule an antigen test as a backup.


Carol Hill
Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253941
04/24/2021 12:25 PM
04/24/2021 12:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,308
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Posts: 14,308
Auburn, WA
I would do the Antigen test as a backup .

Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253942
04/24/2021 12:49 PM
04/24/2021 12:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 317
vacanakey Offline OP
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vacanakey  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 317
Yeah, if we go with the free testing at our employers facility, we would definitely do both tests. My concern with this option is not being able to upload to EHAS until that Saturday afternoon and only having a day to hear back from them before having to drive down to KC the next day.(Sunday) THEN, if we have a hiccup with either one of our tests, we will really be up against the clock.

Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253949
04/24/2021 02:51 PM
04/24/2021 02:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 709
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bran Offline
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bran  Offline
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Is there a test accepted by Ehas that doesn't involve going virtually up into your brain? Been hearing how unpleasant this is for some and yet others it appears to be a formality. I watched someone recently in a hospital have the Covid test and saw the pain and grimace on her face as this long sticklike insertion with swab on end just kept going up into the nostril and twisted it around and this person described the performance like acute brain freeze after eating ice cream too quickly and said it was so unpleasant. And yet I hear others supposedly breeze the test without any pain whatsoever as in someone testing recently at Walgreens and said they just went partly up the nose. In fact another person who went there did it themselves? Only just fully understood the difference between a PCR and Antigen test which does indeed appear to be the timing in getting the results quicker but a PCR test is supposed to be more accurate? Is this correct? I suppose my question is does SXM only support the brain treatment test and yet coming back into the States, depending on where you live, you can get a less invasive one? Still somewhat confused over this all.

Re: What say you guys? [Re: bran] #253950
04/24/2021 03:45 PM
04/24/2021 03:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 10
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Tailgater Offline
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Tailgater  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 10
Had a PCR test this afternoon (leave for SXM on Thursday morning.) I too thought it would be the one up into the brain, as you put it, but it was actually just a thorough swab in each nostril (about 10 seconds in each). Not bad at all. I assume this may differ depending on the test site, but it was a PCR test. My understanding is either PCR or antigen test are acceptable for SXM, but you need to do antigen within 48 hours of departure to the island, while there is a 120-hour window for PCR.

Last edited by Tailgater; 04/24/2021 03:48 PM.
Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253956
04/24/2021 05:01 PM
04/24/2021 05:01 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 587
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CaribLee Offline
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CaribLee  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 587
Can only share my experience but hope it helps. We skipped the pcr test because no one could guarantee timely results. We were leaving on a Tuesday so had to schedule our antigen test on a Sunday morning--which fortunately for us was not an issue. Keep in mind this was Easter Sunday. I submitted my form at 11:15 a.m. that Sunday morning and was approved 45 minutes later. Submitted the wife's 15 minutes after mine and 6 hours later she was denied. You can go back and look at my post of April 5 or so which fully explains but long story short, I determined she was denied because the test report did not include the specific name of the antigen test used (despite my being approved with the same test info). I got the lab to add the name of the test used, resubmitted at about 7:00 p.m. (again on Easter Sunday) and she was approved within 2 hours. So my advice based on my experience--skip the pcr test, get your antigen test at 11:30 a.m. or shortly thereafter on Saturday morning and MAKE SURE that all required info is included on that test report--especially the specific antigen test used. There are many many FDA approved for emergency use antigen tests so it would be hard to get an antigen test that is not approved but you can ask to make sure. EHAS site says approval can take up to 12 hours but even on Easter Sunday, we got fairly quick responses. In your case, even if it took 12 hours (which is not likely), you should be fine. Ultimately, do what you are comfortable with but if you make sure your lab reports have complete info, and you are careful when you fill out required forms, you should be fine. Couple of other things--make sure you have your test reports in pdf files as some have said jpg files aren't accepted. Also, use separate emails for you and your wife as some have said this was an issue (I even used separate credit cards for payment just to be safe). Do these things and you should get your approvals in plenty of time.

Re: What say you guys? [Re: CaribLee] #253957
04/24/2021 05:16 PM
04/24/2021 05:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 317
vacanakey Offline OP
Traveler
vacanakey  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 317

CL

Do the testing places typically send your results as a pdf file? If by chance they send us a jpeg, how are we to convert to a pdf? I know they have converters available, but it would be another hoop we'd have to jump through.

Also,you said to make sure all required info is included on the test report......what other info is required that we need to be aware of other than the test type?

Probably being paranoid about all this, but really don't want to have any last minute surprises when we're up against the clock.

Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253958
04/24/2021 05:40 PM
04/24/2021 05:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 281
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Uksimonusa Online content
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Uksimonusa  Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 281
Originally Posted by vacanakey

CL

Do the testing places typically send your results as a pdf file? If by chance they send us a jpeg, how are we to convert to a pdf? I know they have converters available, but it would be another hoop we'd have to jump through.

Also,you said to make sure all required info is included on the test report......what other info is required that we need to be aware of other than the test type?

Probably being paranoid about all this, but really don't want to have any last minute surprises when we're up against the clock.


Normally sent as a PDF but if the do send as a JPEG and you are using Windows 10 you can print them to the printer "Print to PDF" this will save a PDF file on your computer that you can upload

Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253959
04/24/2021 05:43 PM
04/24/2021 05:43 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 587
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CaribLee Offline
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CaribLee  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 587
There are folks on here that are likely more computer savvy than me but I had to learn so will share as best I can. If your testing lab can email to you, that's fine but I would also leave with a hard copy--mainly to look at and make sure it has all required info before you leave. Assuming you have a hard copy, you need to get it on the device you will be using to complete the EHAS form. There are mutiple ways you can do this. I scanned into my computer using my all-in-one printer but you can also take a picture of the lab report, email it to yourself and then save the file to your computer or device. A lot of times the default save file is a .jpg file. To find out once it is on your computer, right click on the file and click on properties. That will show you the file type (.jpg or.pdf). If it is a .jpg file, open up the file and click on printer or printer icon. Your default printer will be shown but you can click on it to see the drop down menu showing other printer options. Select Microsoft Print to PDF (a mac might be similar but don't know since I don't own one). After clicking on Microsoft Print to PDF, you can select the location and file name and then save. You have now created a pdf file for your lab report. Just remember where you saved it so you can find it when you need to. Regarding what is required on the lab report, the EHAS website has detailed instructions on what is required. Read it carefully. Don't just rely on what is posted here. Follow their instructions and you will be fine. If none of this makes sense, show this to your computer nerd buddy and he can explain better than me. Hope this helps.

Re: What say you guys? [Re: vacanakey] #253974
04/24/2021 10:00 PM
04/24/2021 10:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,060
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Offline
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EdB  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,060
Boynton Beach, FL
go to a walk in clinic, and your insurance company will end up paying for the test. most tests are free, with the exception of cvs and walgreens for some reason. do some research online for where to get tested. I am sure you will find a fast turnaround, and be all set to go.l.without paying the 200 bucks.

Re: What say you guys? [Re: EdB] #254006
04/25/2021 09:55 AM
04/25/2021 09:55 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 351
SeaStar Offline
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SeaStar  Offline
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Posts: 351
I tried to sign up at Walgreen. First time I put that I had a runny nose which was true and I could get the covid test for free. Second time I said I didn't have any of the listed symptoms and it said I could get tested for a fee if needed for travel.

I have allergies and some of the symptoms are listed for the free test. So if I put down I have a symptom and get it for free am I shooting myself in the foot to get approval to travel. The tests in the US and in SXM plus the required insurance are adding ~ $500 to the cost of our trip which is causing me to rethink our trip.
Thanks

Re: What say you guys? [Re: SeaStar] #254021
04/25/2021 11:31 AM
04/25/2021 11:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
In short, no, if you put down you have 'symptoms', that is not going to affect your clearance. As to whether you feel comfortable doing that is purely a personal decision. That said, a lot of people have reported that their health insurance has paid for the test, at least the test to go to SXM anyway. We plan on assuming we will have to pay out of pocket for it, and hope to be pleasantly surprised if insurance picks it up.


Carol Hill

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