Community clinic system Ibn Sina Foundation and CVS Health have partnered to offer free rapid COVID-19 testing starting Tuesday in southwest Houston.
Licensed CVS Health physician’s assistants, nurses and pharmacy staff will swab patients for the virus when they arrive, and test results will be provided on the spot, according to CVS Health.
Patients must call the foundation’s Southwest Houston clinic for a same-day testing slot, and fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for testing. Federal guidelines prioritize people who show symptoms of infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and/or recent loss of taste or smell, and those without symptoms who have been asked to be tested by local health departments or doctors.
The medical professionals will use an Abbott Labs test designed to produce positive results within five minutes, and negative results within 13 minutes, said Monica Prinzing, a CVS Health spokeswoman. The process takes 30 mins upon arrival.
“Once the test result is available,” Prinzing said, “a health care professional will provide the patient their test results, which will enable patients to receive results on-site along with a treatment plan and direction on appropriate actions to take related to quarantine and exposure tracing.”
Unlike other test sites around the Greater Houston area, the new test site is not drive-thru and does not require patients to come in their own vehicles.
“This community clinic will eliminate one barrier to ending the pandemic that far too many people face: access,” U.S. Congressman Al Green, who represents the district the clinic is located in, said in a statement. “By locating the clinic in a vulnerable community, we make testing more accessible physically to those who need it most.”
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Ibn Sina serves patients at seven clinics across the Greater Houston and Port Arthur areas. Its Southwest Houston clinic is located at 11226 S. Wilcrest Drive, and patients can book COVID-19 testing appointments at 281-495-7462.
The foundation is named after Ibn Sina, an 11th-century Persian Muslim physician known in English-language textbooks as Avicenna. It was founded in 2001 by a group of Muslim doctors and business leaders to serve poor and uninsured communities.
CVS Health, based in Woonsocket, R.I., has opened dozens of test sites across the Greater Houston region and nationwide in recent weeks. It plans to operate 1,000 COVID-19 drive-thru testing locations.
In recent years, the drugstore giant has made a foray into the consumer health care business, opening its MinuteClinics in stores in 2006 and purchasing insurer Aetna in 2018.