Testing in West Texas: Drive-by testing demonstration with Dr. Beck

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"I think more people need to know if they have the illness, or the disease, so that they can be better informed."

MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Testing has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. More and more are being administered in the Basin as the access to it increases.

“I think more people need to know if they have the illness, or the disease, so that they can be better informed,” explained Dr. Beck with WesTex Urgent Care, “and can make better, more informed, decisions on how best to quarantine or not.”

Beck says he believes more testing should be done. While many communities are preparing to reopen, he says it is too soon for safety.

“I don’t think we’re there yet. I think we’re at, or near, peak cases of COVID-19. We need to do it in a step-by-step, controlled fashion, not just open up everything all at once, because we risk seeing then a resurgence in the number of cases.”

Initially, testing was primarily done at area hospitals, which were limited by Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. However, Dr. Beck says private practices like his has looser restrictions on who can be tested. This has allowed him to start providing easier access to more people less than a month ago.

“We’ll schedule them for a virtual visit. We can talk to them face to face and make the determination, or the decision, if they need to be tested for COVID-19. And if they do, then we schedule them for a time slot, and we will go to the car sight. We actually allow them to swab themselves.”

Beck says while kits are limited, he has seen faster results with those from Abbott Laboratories. These tests can take as little as 15 to 20 minutes for results to come back. His practice is scheduled to receive more next week.

Beck also says experts are looking further into anti-bodies, and whether that could convey an immunity to the disease.

“It’s what we have to work with right now. It’s not as accurate as we like it to be, but we’re still learning more about this virus. I think the more we learn about this virus, the more accurate the tests will become.”

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