‘To test, or not to test, that is the question’



A COVID-19 testing kit as approved by the CDC

A COVID-19 testing kit as approved by the CDC

To test or not to test, that is the question. Currently, there are two main reasons to test for the coronavirus: having symptoms or exposure to an infected person.

Gov. Greg Abbott in a press conference said that while testing will become more readily available to not look to that as a solution. He said if you test negative it is only good for that moment. What you do after the negative test is the key. “Testing is not a solution. The solution is to follow the state orders so that you reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19,” said Abbott. “If you do not have COVID-19 right now, you have total control to maintain your personal protection to ensure that you do not get it.”

As of press time, the Atascosa County Emergency Management office reported that there have been nine positive cases in Atascosa County with four active and five recovered. The Pleasanton Emergency Management Office has reported that there are no positive cases in Pleasanton. The Jourdanton Police Department reported that there have been no positive cases reported in Jourdanton.

Methodist Hospital South, Atascosa Health Center and Quality Urgent Care in Atascosa County are each offering the COVID-19 test at their respective facilities. While Gov. Abbott reported that specific Walgreens pharmacies were offering drive-thru testing, the Pleasanton location will not at this time. COVID-19 tests are reserved for those who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. If you do not have any of the symptoms, you do not need be tested.

Symptoms:

• Fever

• Cough

Shortness of breath

• Chills

• Any flu-like symptoms

Call your primary healthcare physician first before attempting to get a test. If you do not have a primary physician, please call the testing facilities before going for a test.

The most critical action is to practice social distancing and to avoid coming in contact with any person outside your household except for essential business and activities. Following the CDC’s recommendation, Atascosa County Judge Bob Hurley is recommending for all citizens to wear a protective mask in public. He has visited local businesses and requested that the employees please wear a protective mask when serving the public. Additionally, local grocery stores are strongly recommending that only one person per family shop at a time whenever possible.

Methodist Hospital South

Methodist Hospital South located at 1905 Hwy. 97 E. in Jourdanton offers the COVID-19 test, but you must be exhibiting symptoms in order to qualify for testing. The hospital does accept a majority of insurances. If you do not have insurance, you may still be seen.

If you are experiencing any of the above listed symptoms, please visit or call Methodist Hospital South at 830-769-3515.

Atascosa Health Center

You may call the Atascosa Health Center at 830-569-2527 to request an appointment if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. You will be asked a series of questions to determine if you should be administered the COVID-19 test. Please be sure to state any symptoms you may have or if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

The clinic accepts most insurances, including traditional Medicaid/ Medicare, Aetna HMO/ PPO, Amerigroup, Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO/ PPO, Care Improvement plus, Cigna and GWHA Cigna, Christus, Community First, Driscoll, Humana HMO/PPO (excludes HMO Gold) Indigent Healthcare Program, Molina, Multiplans, Superior, Tricare, Triwest Health Care Alliance, Today’s Options, Veteran’s Choice Program, United Healthcare Community Plan, (dual Advantage)/HMO/PPO).

No patient is denied services due to their inability to pay. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for one of their healthcare programs. Costs vary depending on if you have insurance or not. Please call them at 830-569-2527.

Quality Urgent Care

Quality Urgent Care located at 2106 W. Oaklawn in Pleasanton administers the COVID-19 test only if you are experiencing symptoms of the virus. It is up to the discretion of the provider to administer you the test.

They accept the following insurances: Aetna Medicaid, Beech Street, Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, HMO & Federal, Cigna, Coventry, First Health, Galaxy, Great- West Healthcare, GEHA, Humana, Health Smart, Medicare, PHCS/Multiplan, San Antonio Health Alliance, Superior Health Medicaid, Texas Medicaid, Texas True Choice, Tricare Prime & Standard, UMR/ CPS, Unicare, United Healthcare, Workmans Comp, Amerigroup, Community First, Choice Care, Sedgewick CMS, Coventry Worker’s Comp, Ambetter and Imagine Health.

If you do not have insurance, you will not be turned away. Costs without insurance are $125 for an office visit and upwards of $300 for the COVID-19 test. You may call them at 830-569-1950.

CDC criteria for testing

According to the CDC, several of the first people in the US who tested positive for the virus had no obvious exposure. This development suggested that the virus was being transmitted locally, meaning it was spreading from person to person easily and/or that people may have been transmitting the virus without experiencing serious symptoms. This is the reason for the recent shelter orders in the United States and/or stringent recommendations to not come in contact with persons outside your household except for essential business or activities.

The CDC recommends when testing for COVID-19, that clinicians use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 have developed fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing).

Other considerations that may guide testing are epidemiologic factors such as the occurrence of local community transmission of COVID-19 infections in a jurisdiction. Clinicians are strongly encouraged to test for other causes of respiratory illness.

Regarding exposure to a person with COVID-19, close contact is defined as— a) being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or, b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)

If such contact occurs while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, NIOSH-certified disposable N95 respirator, eye protection), criteria for a COVID-19 test consideration are met.

Please see the Pleasanton Express resource guide for health and assistance resources on page 4A and 5A. This resource page is sponsored by Trace Blair of Wigington, Rumley, Dunn & Blair, LLP. For more information, please go to www.wigrum.com.

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