As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the region, the City of San Antonio is changing its COVID-19 testing policy. Beginning Monday, July 6, the city will only test those who have symptoms of the coronavirus. Until now, the sites were open to any who wanted a test.
On July 5, Bexar County recorded its highest number of cases in a single day, with 198 positive cases and eight deaths — including San Antonio's youngest victim yet, reports the San Antonio Express-News.
Since March 18, the city has been providing free testing at Freeman Coliseum to any resident who signed up. In addition to its new policies, the city is also opening testing sites at Kazen Middle School and Cuellar Community Center in reaction to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
All three testing sites will be open through the month of July, and each location can test up to 300 people per day. Those wishing to receive a test do not need an appointment but should be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
"Prioritizing people who have symptoms helps make sure they are tested as soon as possible to then isolate or connect them with their health provider if treatment is needed," the city says in a release. "The high demand for no cost testing has at times not allowed people with symptoms to be tested expeditiously."
In order to make sure testing availability is open to all, the city is urging those with insurance to contact their healthcare provider and allow the city-run sites to remain open for those who are under insured or without insurance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of the coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
All three sites are open seven days a week from 10 am to 2 pm. Those who think they might need a COVID-19 test can go here for diagnostic information and more.
Those who have been exposed either directly or indirectly to someone with COVID-19 — regardless of symptoms — are urged by local health experts to quarantine for two weeks.
“Taking a COVID-19 test will give you results from a moment in time. A person who has been exposed to the virus needs to quarantine for 14 days from that exposure regardless of a negative COVID-19 test,” said Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger ima release. “If you have insurance, please contact your healthcare provider to seek a test. The no cost testing sites are intended to bring access to those who may not have insurance or a primary healthcare provider.”
For more information, visit the City of San Antonio COVID-19 portal or call the COVID-19 hotline for more information at 210-207-5779.