HOUSTON — Houston hospitals have their own ability to perform tests for coronavirus. For some of them, they can even get the results inside the hospital.

But before they do so, patients have to meet certain guidelines by the CDC.

As a leading provider in medical services, it’s no surprise several Houston hospitals are already on board to provide their own testing of COVID-19.

“It's a swab, Nasopharyngeal. So that means it goes pretty far back down, so it’s a little uncomfortable when it happens," said Dr. Angela Shippy, Memorial Hermann System Chief Quality Officer.

Dr. Shippy said they’ve had the ability to test since the beginning. They do it once they realize a person meets the CDC guidelines from where you’ve been to how you feel.

“Looking at what particular symptoms you have: Fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, the gastrointestinal symptoms, and then there’s also another part of the criteria, talking about someone who has pneumonia," Dr. Shippy said.

Currently, if Memorial Hermann decides to test a patient, they send the swab to the Houston lab. But if that’s backed up, they have other options.

“We can send it off to a lab that’s in another part of the country, and that’s when we can have the test completed," Dr. Shippy said.

Other hospitals, like Texas Children's Hospital, can actually complete the test on site. As of Tuesday, they had the capability to do that in their own pathology labs. If need be, they can accommodate 150 to 200 samples a day.

And Houston Methodist can do their own testing as well, saying they started developing a molecular COVID-19 test a few months ago. 

If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus or you’ve come in contact with someone who has the virus, call your doctor. They will follow a certain protocol to decide whether or not you need to be tested.


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