Metro Health received authority from the State of Texas to exert local control to revise its COVID-19 testing protocol.
This authority allows Metro Health to make testing more accessible and enables them to adjust criteria as needed to adapt to the community conditions.
Previous testing protocols required a person under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 to have a travel history from China or Iran.
The revised protocol removes travel history requirements from the criteria for testing.
Patients should seek medical care from their primary care physicians or urgent care providers if they do not have a primary care physician. Patients should not contact Metro Health directly to request testing as a health care provider must order the test. Patients should not go to emergency rooms to seek COVID-19 testing.
- Patient shows fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough or shortness of breath and the patient has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19
- Patient shows fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness and significant respiratory illness, such as the flu, has been ruled out and the patient has risk factors that place them at a high risk of poor health outcomes or the patient is a health care worker or first responder
- Patient shows severe acute respiratory illness such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome, which requires hospitalization and has a negative flu diagnosis and no source of COVID-19 exposure has been identified