Faced with the latest wave of COVID-19 cases in North Texas, consumers tell NBC 5 Responds they are scrambling to find tests.
Read on to find out what’s happening and where to start looking if you need a COVID-19 test.
“It’s a whole different world now.”
Last week, Maria Lucy asked McKinney for answers when her 16-year-old son lost his sense of taste and smell.
“We didn’t want him to go to school and infect others,” Lucy said. “We thought, let’s go and give him a test. Haha, this is not an easy process.”
Lucy said the nearest urgent care required an appointment and the facility was booked for days. She said another site was closed due to a known exposure.
“At three and four we were like, What do we do?” Lucy said.
After at least two hours of searching, Lucy said she had found a site that could test her son. The family headed to Frisco for a quick test. Lucy said this was the seventh location the family had tried.
“You need to know your COVID testing status and it’s a whole different world right now,” she said.
Re-opening of some public sites amid an increase in demand
Across North Texas earlier this year, several large public testing sites scaled back operations when demand for testing slowed and resources shifted to vaccination clinics.
Recently, Tarrant County and Dallas County announced that they would reopen some public locations to try to meet demand for COVID-19 tests, but most testing is done by private health care facilities or pharmacies.
Public health experts said testing remains vital to contain the spread of COVID-19, identify people who need to be isolated and seek treatment.
You can find a list of public testing sites in Tarrant County Here.
In Dallas County, you can find a list Here.
Where to look for a COVID-19 test
To find a COVID-19 testing location, start your search using the Texas Testing Group sitemap Here. The site is managed by the Texas Department of Emergency Management. A spokesperson said the information was obtained with the help of federal partners.
Once at the location, zoom in to your location on the map and click on each pin to get a summary of whether the location requires an appointment, a doctor’s referral, and the type of test offered. Call ahead to make sure the information is up-to-date – before you drive.
NBC 5 Responds asked the Texas Department of Health Services if it tracked any delays in processing COVID-19 lab results during this latest increase. A state spokesperson said the state hasn’t heard of any labs experiencing delays, but said some labs will likely take an extra day or two to deliver results due to the large volume of testing.
home testing options
If you can find a home test, it may be an option for some.
“The ideal candidate is someone who knows they have been exposed and then develops symptoms,” said Dr. Karen Roach, deputy chief of pathology at Methodist Health System.
Dr. said. Roche said each group will be labeled with information about the best uses of the test.
She points out that there are different types of home tests. Home collection kits ask you to collect your sample, then send it to a lab where results can take a few days.
There are also quick-resulting antigen kits that let you collect and test your samples at home. The tests are quick, but Dr. Roach explained that they are not as accurate as the molecular tests analyzed in the lab.
“It is not the most sensitive. You can still get COVID, but it will not be detected by the antigen test due to the sensitivity limits,” Dr. Roche explained.
If you are using a home test kit, follow the instructions carefully – especially if the kit asks you to repeat the test.
In general, Dr. Roach said a retest is a good idea for anyone who continues to have symptoms after a negative test.
“If you’re not feeling well, even in the face of negative COVID tests, keep going. I think that’s what we should all be doing now. I think most people are, I think,” said Dr. Roche.
If you are testing work, school or travel requirements – be sure to accept your home test results. In many cases, they are not.
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