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Friday, March 13, 2020

Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Coming to San Antonio, But Health Care Staff and At-Risk Patients First Priority

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 1:51 PM

  • Gage Skidmore
  • Greg Abbott
As part of a public health disaster declaration Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said San Antonio will be the first site for a state drive-through with coronavirus testing capabilities.

Initially, the Alamo City operation will prioritize health care workers and high-risk individuals, the Texas Tribune reports. People over 60 and those with existing health conditions face larger risks from the virus, experts say.

On Friday, Abbott also provided details about Texas' testing record and capabilities, the Tribune reports. Until then, the state had been vague about testing numbers.

So far, 220 Texans have been tested by either a state public lab or the Centers for Disease Control, while another 75 are currently undergoing tests, he said. State health officials are capable of testing 272 people per day but will be able to ramp up that number into the thousands next week.

More than 20 states have declared an emergency over spread of the coronavirus. On Friday, San Antonio officials declared a health emergency and prohibited gatherings of 500 or more people.

Drive-through testing will be all week during business hours, San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Joe Arrington told the Tribune. To qualify, people must have confirmation from their employer that they're ill, have COVID-19 symptoms and already have had a negative flu test.

City officials have not disclosed the exact location of the drive-through testing operation.

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