Hospitals enact protocol for COVID-19 testing



By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Health officials are telling people who believe they may have or may have been exposed to COVID-19 to follow Baylor Scott & White Marble Falls' online protocol to determine whether they should be tested for the virus and not go directly to the hospital for testing at this time.

In the meantime, people who are exhibiting mild COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, headache, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, are asked not to go to the emergency room or physicians' offices to stop the possible spread of the disease.

Burnet County Health Authority Dr. Juliette Madrigal said Baylor Scott & White Marble Falls is a site for drive-thru COVID-19 testing, but they will only perform tests on pre-screened individuals.

“You have to go online and do an online screener to see if you qualify for testing,” Madrigal. “It's about five questions and if it looks like you are possible COVID, they will have you go get in line and they will test you. Otherwise, you can talk to your primary care physician and they can write an order to have them test you.”

Baylor Scott & White is performing about 10 tests per day in Marble Falls. Results are coming back as soon as 24 hours in some cases, but Madrigal said to allow up to four days (96 hours) for test results to come in as to whether someone is positive for the virus.

“Until that time, you are self quarantined,” Madrigal said.

Madrigal reminded people that they should self-isolate and not go to medical facilities if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or believe they may have been exposed to the virus.

“If you just think you have COVID, you do not need to see a doctor or go to an emergency room, but if you are having trouble breathing or are so ill you cannot care for yourself, that's another story and then you should go get treated,” Madrigal said.

Baylor Scott & White officials have announced they will screen patients prior to setting appointments and ask them to voluntarily take the questionnaire prior to going to urgent cares and hospital facilities. …

Find more local reactions and comprehensive news coverage in the Friday, March 20 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. Subscribe by clicking here to our e-Edition online.


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