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The local health department is partnering with Hendrick Medical Center Brownwood and other providers for expedited COVID-19 testing, followed by treatment, in one location, on the same day.
“We’re very excited, we’re hoping that this is something that helps our community. The goal is to keep people out of physician’s offices, emergency rooms and the hospital,” said Lisa Dick, administrator of the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department.
“We know that people are having to wait more time than they want to get a test returned or get an appointment with their doctor for a test. What we decided to do is a combination clinic. The health department would supply the testing component and the hospital, Hendrick here in Brownwood, would supply the treatment side,” Dick said.
How it works:
“You would have to make an appointment to get tested, and we’re hoping those would run on the same day. After that, if you test positive, we would hand those results over to Hendrick and they would work with you to see if you are eligible to receive treatment. There are qualifications for that. They would screen you and hopefully be able to get you in right then. It’s in one building so we’re hoping it looks something like a one-stop place for COVID treatment,” Dick said.
She further explained that a health department worker would come to your car in the parking lot, do the COVID test and, if the patient is found to be positive, then Hendrick would set up the treatment.
“You wouldn’t even have to leave the parking lot. You’d be able to come into the building and receive treatment. That shouldn’t take a tremendously long period of time, less than a couple of hours,” Dick said.
The treatment type is REGEN-COV which, according to regencov.com, has been granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It’s an infusion type treatment that can also be given as a shot, Dick said.
Brown County Commissioners on Monday approved more funding to aid the Brownwood/Brown County Health Department in this response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioners approved an additional $63,000, money which will come from the American Rescue Plan grant from the federal government. Last week, the Brownwood City Council approved $77,000 in funding to the health department.
Those dollars kick off this program while the health department awaits word on a $758,000.00 grant they’ve applied for which would continue this treatment program for 13 months.