FORT WORTH, Texas — MedStar and the Tarrant County Public Health Department took a major step in fighting coronavirus by partnering to offer in-home COVID-19 testing.
“This is a very big deal for Tarrant County,” said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesperson. “This has not been done in other communities that we know of in the United States.”
In-home testing began on Friday, after the Tarrant County Public Health Department sent 50 test kits, with more on the way.
Residents should not call MedStar to request an in-home test. They are administering them based on referrals from the health department.
Specially-trained paramedics perform the nasal swab in the patient’s home to reduce exposure.
“It allows people who are under investigation of the coronavirus to not have to travel somewhere to get the test taken, which means that they’re not being exposed to other people or running the risk of exposing other people to a potential coronavirus,” Zavadsky said.
Vehicles equipped with refrigerators will enable MedStar to preserve the samples so they can perform multiple tests before delivering them to the health department, which means more people can be tested in a shorter period of time.
“The ability to do this here, test it and now share our experiences with the rest of the healthcare systems across the country, the EMS agencies across the country, will hopefully allow this type of process to be done across the country,” Zavadsky said.
MedStar will administer the tests, but it’s still up to Tarrant County Public Health to get the results and notify the patient. The process from swab to notification should take about 48 hours, according to a Tarrant County Public Health spokesperson.
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