VIDEO: Tyler doctor suspends COVID-19 testing due to growing delays in lab results

Dr. Stephen C. Spain ‘shocked’ at number of COVID-19 positives in few patients tested
Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 12:00 PM CDT
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TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - A Tyler doctor testing for COVID-19 said of the 18 results he’s received back, 3 patients have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

In an East Texas Now interview, Dr. Stephen C. Spain said he will likely stop testing on Friday until labs can clear the “logjam” of samples waiting to be tested.

“Initially we were encouraged because our turnaround time was 48 hours or just under 48 hours," Dr. Spain said. “Now we’re waiting over a week for test results.”

Spain said he’s been sending samples off to two different private labs. He’s currently waiting on results from 13 tests. A total of 31 samples have been collected at his Tyler office on Kinsey Drive.

“I’m really concerned that the number of positive cases in the community right now are extremely underestimated,” Dr. Spain said.

Spain said the infection rate is likely under 1%, but wants people to be aware the virus is in the Tyler community.

“This virus is so highly contagious, I don’t know how long it will be before I can allow patients with respiratory symptoms to come in the front door of my office without being pre-screened for coronavirus," Dr. Spain said. "So it’s something practitioners and clinics everywhere are going to have to wrestle with.”

Testing for COVID-19 has been done outside of Dr. Spain's Tyler office.
Testing for COVID-19 has been done outside of Dr. Spain's Tyler office.(Stephen C. Spain, MD)

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