TYLER, Texas — With COVID-19 cases now having been spread through community contact, the need for testing is on many people’s minds.

Dr. Stephen Spain in Tyler has contracted with an independent lab that has a COVID-19 test and has started performing tests for his current patients in a makeshift facility behind his office. He says of the first 20 people he tested, three came back positive.

"The CDC and other labs were initially requiring a two page form filled out with information on the patients that would have a eliminated it a lot of the people who needed to be screen," said Dr. Spain. "Right now we’re only testing patients who are sick and our definition of that is fever and cough, but there are a lot of people who are sick and yet they wouldn’t a high priority patient to be screened by the CDC criteria."

Dr. Spain says some of the other labs are starting to loosen up some of their restrictions on needing the person of interest form, But, there is still a big backlog in getting the test. 

For more information on the coronavirus, text "FACTS" to (903) 600-2600.