HARRISON, Ohio (FOX19) - While cities around the country reportedly struggle with shortages of COVID-19 tests, a Tri-State doctor says the urgent care center where he works has them in spades.
Trent Austin, MD, is medical director of AccuDoc Urgent Care. He says he and his team have 170 tests — and more are on the way.
“We don’t anticipate any shortages of test kits,” Austin said. "That’s contrary to what the public health has been doing, where they are rationing kits and not testing people.”
AccuDoc has three Tri-State locations, including one on Ring Road in Harrison, Ohio. The other two are in Batesville, Ind. and Greensburg, Ind.
Austin instructs those wanting to be tested to call ahead. When they arrive, he says they’ll immediately be asked to wear a mask, then they’ll be escorted through a back door.
All medical professionals at AccuDoc will be wearing personal protective equipment in an attempt to limit exposure to the virus.
The test is done by swabbing the throat or nose, Austin says, adding it usually takes between one and three days to get the results back.
Even before that, though, Austin and his team begin “empiric” treatment on symptomatic patients — “treatment before we know definitively what it is they have,” he explained.
“In this context of the pandemic, when somebody comes in with classic symptoms," he added, “I think it makes sense to start these antiviral medications as soon as possible.”
Two drugs commonly used to treat COVID-19 symptoms are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. On Sunday, an emergency order by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine prohibited pharmacists in the state from dispensing either drug to anyone who hasn’t tested positive for the virus unless it’s approved by the pharmacy board’s executive director.
“Well that’s great,” Austin said, “unless you don’t have enough tests to test people.”
He continued: “I think the state is trying to play doctor here, and I think they should let the doctors play doctor.”