JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A small urgent care clinic is seeing on average between 50 and 70 people a day at each of its three locations for COVID-19 testing.
Avecina Medical is collecting sputum samples and sending them to Quest Diagnostics.
President and CEO Dr. Saman Soleymani said his clinics’ ability to test patients is taking the load off hospital emergency rooms.
“The reason we have the hysteria and mania going on and running out of supplies, are patients that are showing up to the hospital who are really not in need of hospital care,” Soleymani said.
A sign on the door at Avecina Medical on the Southside advises patients who have coronavirus symptoms to wait outside.
Tents have been set up to help those wanting COVID-19 tests at Avecina Medical’s Julington Creek and Oakleaf locations.
Soleymani said employees have been testing people for almost two weeks.
“Been extremely busy, needless to say,” he said.
The city and federally sponsored mobile testing sites at Prime Osborn and Lot J have limited supplies, which is why they’re having to prioritize the symptomatic patients and doing the faster swab-style testing.
But Avecina Medical is collecting sputum samples, which takes the patient a little longer to produce because they need to cough hard enough to collect the 1 milliliter required by Quest.
“The more people that are tested, we can rule out the ones that are positive to make sure that they really isolate and quarantine themselves for 14 days,” Soleymani said.
Avecina Medical is also taking extra precautions once the patient is allowed inside.
“That room that we have specified just for our COVID patients gets sterilized top to bottom after every single patient, and our common areas, such as waiting rooms and anything else, gets sterilized at the top of the hour every hour,” Soleymani said.
Soleymani said results are ready in three days and they’re shared with the Department of Health.
If you don’t have insurance, you can still get tested, but you would be responsible for the cost of the office visit plus the $99 lab test from Quest.
Avecina Medical takes walk-ins, but if you’d like to make an appointment, visit www.Avecina.com.
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