Victory Medical, a medical clinic with locations through the Austin area, is now offering 10-minute finger-prick tests for COVID-19. According to Director of Clinical Operations Jennifer Reyes, Victory Medical is the first in Austin to offer this type of testing. The test is available at Victory Medical's South Austin, Westlake Hills and Cedar Park locations.
Dr. Nathan Pekar, a clinician at Victory Medical's South Austin location at 4303 Victory Drive, said his clinic had performed its first batch of quick-turnaround "point-of-care" tests today after receiving a shipment of tests ordered from Gene Biotech, a company in China.
"We ordered it way back on March 20th or so. It took forever to finally arrive," Pekar said.
According to Pekar, Victory Medical's current shipment includes around 480 test kits, which he expects to last two weeks or less. Pekar said his clinic will reorder tests when needed, potentially from Gov. Greg Abbott's recently announced 15-minute tests produced at Abbott Laboratories in Texas. Abbott's tests are expected to become available soon.
Pekar said any person can take the test who feels they may have been exposed, including those who have already been sick and recovered. Since the finger-prick test shows results short-term and long-term antibodies, it can indicate both if someone has recently been exposed or if they have already recovered from the virus.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 through the finger-prick test and show active coronavirus symptoms will also be given a viral swab test to confirm the individual has an active case, Pekar said. Unlike the finger-prick tests, the viral swab test results are tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so data from swab tests remains important.
People interested in pursuing a point-of-care test with Victory Medical can visit a clinic in person or schedule a telemedicine appointment to see if they should be tested.
While most insurances are not yet covering the cost of the 10-minute test, Pekar said the test currently costs $45.