SAN ANTONIO — Texas MedClinic has seen an unprecedented number of patients in the last week as interest in COVID-19 testing has also increased.
"The busiest we have ever been was during flu season of 2012 until this past week," said Texas MedClinic COO Dr. David Gude.
The surge in people seeking to be tested for COVID-19 has caused wait times at some of the urgent care clinics to skyrocket to more than 24 hours, as opposed to the normal hour or half-hour wait.
Unlike testing offered through the City of San Antonio, Texas MedClinic's rapid testing allows patients to know whether they have COVID-19 in as little as 15 minutes, which has contributed to its popularity.
"We all want everything now," Gude said. "We're just trained. We don't wait for anything. You know, we want to see the doctor now. We want to get the tests now. "
Gude said Texas MedClinic first started offering rapid testing three weeks ago, and when the testing was first rolled out, staff was administering approximately 100 tests a day. He said in the second week, they moved to 500 or so tests daily across all of their clinics and are now at 1,000 tests a day.
"We continue to look at ways that we can do this more efficiently," Gude said. "You know, unfortunately, in a medical facility, there's registration, there's paperwork, there's insurance, there's all kinds of I's that have to be dotted and t's that have to be crossed."
For those without insurance, the rapid test and visit is approximately $300. Gude said they plan on rolling out drive up testing at all of their locations as early as next week and are searching for ways to make testing more affordable.
On Thursday, Bexar County officials sounded the alarm on a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Gude said he's seen an increase in cases since businesses have opened back up and people have gone back to work.
"I'm concerned we're still on the slope of the mountain and it's going to continue to increase," Gude said of novel coronavirus cases.
Despite the second wave, Gude said staff will continue to test anyone who wants to be tested.
"Historically, Metro health has been the one that will determine if we need to return to some type of a priority system, but it's been well over six weeks now since any type of priority system existed," Gude said. "And last I heard and as far as I know, they are still advocating for anybody who wants to get a test to have a test."