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Long COVID-19 testing lines have become the norm for Signature Care Emergency Center

Before the pandemic, the ER was seeing about 25 patients a day, now they see more than 150.

MIDLAND, Texas — Signature Care Emergency Center in Midland has been seeing non-stop lines the past few months as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the community.

That has been the norm since the ER started offering rapid testing in June.

Before the pandemic, Dr. Hashibul Hannan, Signature Care ER Physician, tells NewsWest 9 the ER was seeing around 25 patients a day, but now they are seeing more than 150.

“The infection rate now is past 20%," Hannan said. "In the last month the number of infection has gone up in the communities."

More infections, means more people getting exposed.

Each week the ER tests hundreds of patients for COVID-19, some of them needing extensive care.

Details on Signature Care in Midland seeing an influx in patients. Before COVID, they saw 25 patients a day and now they’re seeing more than 150. I’ll have more details coming up at 6 on NewsWest 9

Posted by Sammi Steele on Friday, July 10, 2020

“Our doctors and nurses are stretched a bit thin given the current volume we’ve seen," Hannan said. 

While hospitals in Odessa and Midland have bed capacity for now, Dr. Hannan worries that will not be the case in the upcoming weeks if these trends continue.

“In my opinion we are just at the point where if there's a little bit more infection our infrastructure won’t be able to handle this," Hannan said. "Then it’ll be like New York or Italy, that's when the death toll really rises.”

In addition to social distancing and wearing masks, Dr. Hannan believes the solution lies in more testing.

“As a community we are a little bit behind in providing adequate opportunities for testing and we need to step it up in our services.”

Dr. Hannan urges anyone with symptoms or who has been exposed to get tested.

As far as getting tested there, the wait time can be up to two hours.

The cost for one of their rapid tests without insurance is $175 dollars.

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