Your COVID-19 Testing Questions Answered
By David Doolittle

Covid_19_Prep

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Texas, the Texas Medical Association has heard from multiple physicians with questions about testing for the virus. 

That’s why the TMA COVID-19 Task Force created a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) to help physicians understand how to test patients safely and effectively. 

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for priority testing, with top priority given to hospitalized patients and health care facility workers. Due to current supply limitations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing kits, not all people with symptoms should be prioritized for testing, CDC said.

Among the questions answered in the TMA's FAQ: 

  • Which patients should physicians test for COVID-19? And are there patients who should be prioritized for testing?
  • Who should not get tested?
  • What infection prevention measures are necessary in outpatient settings?
  • Is testing for COVID-19 available through commercial laboratories?
  • Which private and public labs are testing?
  • How is COVID-19 testing reimbursed?
  • Do I report a positive test result for COVID-19? 

In addition, the TMA Task Force has created an interactive map of drive-thru and mass public-testing facilities that are rapidly appearing all over Texas. 

The purpose of the map is to encourage patients to seek proper testing sites and to relieve stress on emergency departments. TMA assembled this list based on third-party websites, public media, word-of-mouth information obtained from county medical society staff, and other sources.

TMA also has created a chart that details every testing facility in Texas along with requirements, accepted specimens, collection, storage, estimated turnaround time, and more.

The FAQ can be found on TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center, which is updated regularly with the latest news, resources, and government guidance on the coronavirus outbreak. 

Last Updated On

March 25, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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