Google Can Now Help You Locate The Nearest COVID-19 Testing Facility
April 22, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas MedClinic’s 19 clinics spread across San Antonio, Spring Branch, New Braunfels, Austin, and Round Rock have been a resource for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and who needed to be tested. People needing help were able to find us quickly through Google search, as highlighted in the Forbes Online story.
A Google search for “coronavirus testing centers” in the U.S. will now lead you to a Google Map of testing facilities — for most users.
This is just one of the company’s latest tools it has offered to curb the spread of COVID-19, along with a $50 million commitment to global efforts to respond to the pandemic.
The Verge reported the company will offer this information to Google users in 43 states, largely because the company is only publishing testing facility locations that have been approved by public health authorities. Even then, some testing facilities lists are incomplete in some states, including New York. Google is only sharing locations of testing facilities that have been approved for publishing by health authorities, although Google said it is adding more listings in New York, which has been hit hard by the spread COVID-19. Testing facilities in Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Missouri are excluded from search results.
While Google is making it easier to find a COVID-19 testing facility, some of these facilities are not offering tests to the general public. Some testing facilities are limited to certain groups. For example, Google’s map indexes some Veterans Health Clinics, where testing is limited to veterans and other selected groups.
In other areas, Google does not list some public testing. For instance, in the San Antonio, Texas area, the company does not index three public, drive-thru testing facilities. But does index 11 locations of privately-owned Texas MedClinic urgent care clinics that are offering testing. The maps do index testing facilities of Project Baseline, which is powered by Alphabet’s Verily unit.
Texas MedClinic was established in 1982 by Dr. Bernard T. Swift, Jr., as a group medical practice that specializes in urgent care and occupational medicine. Texas MedClinic has grown to 13 locations in San Antonio, two in New Braunfels, two in Austin, one in Round Rock and one in Bulverde/Spring Branch. Texas MedClinic is staffed with 82 medical providers including physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners and over 450 employees.
Not a primary care practice, Texas MedClinic is not intended to replace a patient’s primary care physician. The privately-owned clinics offer patients who have urgent medical problems an alternative to the long waiting times at hospital ER’s, the new free-standing emergency rooms, and traditional family doctor offices when appointment times may be filled.