COVID-19 testing underway, results promising so far

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Coronavirus testing is underway in the Mid-South as medical professionals scramble to make tests and test results available.

Local doctors are still concerned about the lack of tests available to the public. They say the limited number of tests makes it hard to identify patients.

“I wonder if I could have COVID-19, let’s go get tested,” Dr. Stephen Threlkeld with Baptist Medical said. “That’s not part of the CDC recommendation. It’s if you have a known exposure or a compatible clinical illness.”

“When you’ve got this kind of panic and hysteria, it is about what do I do?” CEO of East Arkansas Family Health Center Dr. Susan Ward-Jones said. “I have a cough, I have a fever. I need to be tested. Not everybody at this point can be tested.”

Tennessee is the latest state in which the public and private sectors have begun to work togeter. Local governments are teaming up with pharmaceutical companies to offer more tests and improve response time.

“The tests that the companies are providing, the commercial tests, have come on at just the right time. You know and you expected that the city health departments are going to have some strain over this. People want to be tested and so forth,” Threlkeld said.

“It’s a coordinated effort between the state health department, local hospitals, the local clinics and local community health centers,” Ward-Jones said.

Experts are hoping for a small amount of positive patients as test results are pending.

Local offices and hospitals are still figuring out ways for people to get tested.

Baptist now has a mobile testing center for those that meet required criteria and the county health department has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

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