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Local drive-through screening began today

Posted at 12:49 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 13:49:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Drive-through screening for COVID-19 started today here in Corpus Christi.

There is a catch -- testing is by appointment only -- you cannot just drive over and ask to be tested.

The last test for the day happened right around 10:30 a.m. There were a total of 16 tests given this morning at the old Memorial Hospital.

Here's how the process works.

Individuals who suspect they have symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to call the health district and an assessment will be made over the phone.

Then, if they meet the CDC criteria for testing, they'll be scheduled an appointment at the drive-thru screening center. Cars came in through this area off Beauford, they then show identification and are swabbed under the awning.

That's where doctors will collect swabs. And after that, they'll send the samples to Austin for testing.

Cars were arriving in about 7-minute intervals earlier today.

"Nobody ever gets out of their car,” Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said. “And the only time that window is rolled down is when a health care provider who is properly trained, wearing proper equipment instructs you roll down your window, get the swab and then you go."

The tests will be sent to Austin and results typically take three days. Canales said very soon Corpus Christi will have our own testing site up and running.

Again, residents are asked not to visit the location without an appointment.