Living through a pandemic like our current one can be highly stressful and confusing. These are uncertain times. However, it is critical to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to get the help you need. If you live in San Antonio and think you need to get tested for COVID-19, here is what you need to know.
Step One: Complete Self-Screening Tool
First, you’ll want to complete a self-screening in order to determine if testing is warranted. You can access the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District Self-Screening Tool here. This Self-Screening Tool is for personal use only and is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis or any kind of medical determination or advice. It is merely a preliminary step to further testing. Take a photo or screenshot of your Self-Screening results to show your health care provider later (see Step Two). A few key symptoms to check for when taking the Self-Screening.
- A temperature of 99.6 or higher
- Difficulty breathing
- Body aches
A few other things to consider when self-assessing:
- Whether you are age 65 or older
- Whether you have a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart or lung disease
- Whether you have traveled recently
- Whether you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Step Two: Contact Your Health Provider
Once you have completed the self-screening, and if you still think that you need to get tested for COVID-19, the next step is to contact your health provider or urgent care clinic to receive a formal medical assessment. When you speak to your health care provider, be sure to let them know that you completed the Self-Screening Tool. Show them the photo or screenshot of your results. If appropriate, your health care provider will then refer you to COVID-19 testing.
If you are unable to afford a doctor’s visit, call the Metro Health’s COVID-19 hotline at (210) 207-5779. The hotline is available in English or Spanish and is in operation Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Step Three: Get Tested
Currently, COVID-19 is only available to people who have pre-approval from a doctor. All individuals must have an appointment to be tested. Currently, testing eligibility is being expanded to include:
- Health care workers
- First responders
- VIA bus drivers
- People 65 years or older who have a temperature of at least 99.6 degrees and a doctor’s recommendation
Testing in San Antonio is conducted by the South Texas Medical Center. Their testing site, at the time that this article was written, is located at Freeman Coliseum 3201 E. Houston St. A second testing site is expected to open soon, if not already by the time you read this. Check the Texas Department of State Health Services website for the most up-to-date information on screening locations. The current testing site is drive-thru style and it allows for 16 tests to be conducted per hour. The City of San Antonio has put out a video showing what the testing site looks like and how it will operate.
If you think you need to be tested, the most important things to remember is to stay calm and follow official guidelines and procedures and your doctor’s orders. Be safe. Be smart. Stay informed.
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