NUECES COUNTY, Texas — 3News is getting more insight into the requirements to get tested for COVID-19 by the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.
On Monday we heard from a local mom who had been denied getting tested five times only to later learn she was indeed positive for the virus.
Annette Rodriguez, director of the public health district, went before Corpus Christi's city council Tuesday to give an update on the testing in our area. First she explained there are two ways to get tested for COVID-19 -- one is through the health district, which is testing at the old Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital location. It is for those who called the health district's hotline, 361-826-7200, and were given the green light to get tested..
The second way is through commercial testing through a private lab. With this test, you do not need to meet the eligibility requirements of the public health district.
To date, more than 400 tests that have been given by the health district -- a number that seemed low to Councilman Rudy Garza.
"Seems like a very small number. Is that because of the kits we have available or the resources we have?" Garza asked.
Rodriguez said the health department is required to go by CDC requirements to approve a test for a person.
"We can test a larger percentage, but we are going by the CDC guidelines as well. Until you open it up to where you can test everybody you will see those numbers continue to be a little smaller than what the commercial labs can test," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez explained that the guidelines that first focused on travel overseas to places like China have since changed, but still have a big focus on travel.
"So the guidelines are, if you have traveled somewhere where there's a high number of people infected -- New York, Washington State -- and are symptomatic, you have the symptoms, you would be eligible for testing," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said if you have come into contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive and are showing symptoms, you would be eligible for the test.
Age is another factor.
"The final one is that if you don't know what is causing your illness and you have symptoms you are eligible for testing," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez emphasized that if you are turned down to get tested by the health department you can go to your doctor, but if your insurance doesn't cover the cost of the test it's something that you will have to pay for out of pocket.
For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.
More from 3News on KIIITV.com: