UMC: Coronavirus Testing Is Not Available for Everyone
University Medical Center has released new information about their efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eric Finley, marketing director at UMC, clarified Friday that coronavirus (COVID-19) tests are not readily available to all patients.
"People still must meet specific criteria to be tested - including travel history, symptom presence; more requests for tests are rejected than accepted right now, per CDC guidelines," Finley explained, adding that doctors "MUST rule out other causes of respiratory illness before submitting testing – includes flu and strep testing, respiratory panels (including lower respiratory)," before issuing a coronavirus test.
University Medical Center will open a temporary new clinic in Lubbock to help alleviate concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The new UMC Fever and Respiratory Clinic will be adjacent to the hospital's emergency room, said Finley. Patients who come to UMC who have symptoms related to the flu or respiratory issues will be sent to this clinic.
Finley also encourage Lubbock residents to use the hospital's MyTeamCareNow app (available on iOS and Android) for virtual care instead of coming directly to the clinic.
Finley said that while there are 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas, there are still zero cases in Lubbock County. Overall, the United States has 1,663 cases of the disease and 40 deaths.
UMC this week also confirmed that while some patients at the hospital have been tested for the coronavirus, the results have all been negative. Rumors on social media earlier this month claimed the opposite.
The impact of the coronavirus has already been felt in Lubbock despite no confirmed cases in the county.
Texas Tech's series against West Virginia this weekend was postponed after the Mountaineers declined to travel to Lubbock. The NCAA called off all its championship events for winter and spring sports, including March Madness.
Lubbock ISD, on the cusp of spring break, has elected to provide laptops to students as a proactive measure. The district has also restricted all school-sanctioned travel involving students and staff to a 200-mile radio of Lubbock. Any out-of-state travel has also been suspended through June 30th, 2020. South Plains College has canceled classes outright from March 23rd-27th, 2020.
Visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website for more information about coronavirus in Texas, and the CDC website for more facts and how to stay safe.