Texas MedClinic provides COVID-19 test
March 24, 2020
San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department changes COVID-19 testing criteria; opens testing to all who have COVID-19 symptoms.
San Antonio-based urgent care provider Texas MedClinic, following San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department’s protocol, is providing COVID-19 diagnostic testing to all patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Testing is available at all 19 clinics in San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels and Spring Branch.
(Patients are highly-encouraged to Check-In Online to follow social distancing guidelines and avoid time in a waiting room.)
“The COVID 19 testing criteria before this week included symptomatic persons who are health care workers, first responders; those over the age of 65 and/or whom have underlying health conditions such as heart and lung disease or diabetes that could put them at risk for complications,” said Texas MedClinic Chief Medical Officer and practicing physician Dr. David Gude. “Now we will be testing all patients who have clinical COVID-19 symptoms.”
COVID-19 symptoms include a fever of 100.4, cough and shortness of breath.
Texas MedClinic has conducted roughly 750 COVID-19 tests since March 16 and is reporting test results to San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department and state health authorities.
Following Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocol, the COVID-19 diagnostic test will be provided to those patients who present with flu-like symptoms, have lower respiratory illness, and who have underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes and/or who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 laboratory confirmed case.
“Last week proved to be a challenge getting the test collection kits from our suppliers, but the pipeline is starting to open,” said Texas MedClinic Chief Medical Officer and practicing physician Dr. David Gude. “Our labs are opening new locations to assure we receive results efficiently, and we are receiving additional collection kits.”
Over the last two weeks Texas MedClinic providers used the limited number of collection kits judiciously for those patients that met all the CDC testing criteria, which totaled 171 tests.
Texas MedClinic is working closely with local and state authorities to report test results and to assure action and communication in confirmed cases.
A COVID-19 test includes an oral swab or Nasopharyngeal swab that is inserted through the nasal passage and pushed to the back of the throat. Based on current projections, the laboratory is able to provide COVID-19 test results within 48-hours.
Cost for testing will be covered by insurance or through government sponsored programs. For private pay patients, Texas MedClinic is charging $115 for the COVID-19 test and requires payment at the time of visit.
“We continue to work with national and local laboratories to assure we can get collection test kits and results in a timely manner,” said Gude. “Our goal is to keep our South, Central Texas community well, helping health authorities prevent the spread of the virus, by providing efficient, effective, and compassionate medical care.”
Texas MedClinic has been prepared for over 10 years to serve their communities in a pandemic. The urgent care provider has sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) and continues to follow strict protocol to assure the health and safety of both patients and staff.
“All of us must be vigilant to stop the virus from spreading. Continue to eat healthy, exercise, practice the CDC guidelines on reducing community spread and take care of mental health, too. Give your mind and emotions a break and unplug from the news and social media for a set amount of time each day,” said Gude. “By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we can reduce anxiety and fears related to COVID-19 and allow local, state and federal health authorities to manage the pandemic.”
No specific treatment for COVID-19 is currently available. According to CDC, those with COVID-19 that have mild symptoms and no underlying health conditions are required to self-quarantine. If symptoms worsen or breathing becomes difficult, supportive care may be needed. Seek medical attention at a hospital.
Those whom have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing mild symptoms can exit quarantine in the absence of testing when these three criteria are met:
- It has been at least seven days since onset of symptoms;
- There has been no fever for at least 72 hours without taking medications to reduce fever;
- Respiratory symptoms, cough and shortness of breath are improving.
Consistent with CDC and San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department, Texas MedClinic is encouraging the community, patients and staff to continue frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds, disinfecting high-touch areas and to continue social distancing of 6 feet of another person to curb the spread of the virus.
San Antonio residents can call the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District COVID-19 hotline at 210-207-5779 or can log onto https://covid19test.quacito.com/ to complete a self-screening questionnaire to see if they meet the criteria to be tested.
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.82