LUBBOCK, Texas — On June 26, University Medical Center’s drive-up COVID-19 screening was forced to close after the lab processing its tests ran low on testing supplies.
Jessi Riojas, a resident of Lubbock, was confused where to go to get tested once the United Medical Center drive-up clinic closed.
“The main freak-out point for people was, ‘Well where do we go?’ And then, ‘Are there any more tests in Lubbock?’” she said. “It’s a little scary just because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Riojas said her friends and coworkers were worried about what would happen if they were exposed.
“I think maybe it’s more the panic people get in a panic if they don’t have all their questions answered right then. So that might be what’s causing more chaos and stirring things up a bit,” Riojas said.
Since March, the UMC drive up clinic has processed over 16,000 tests, but not all who were tested had symptoms of COVID-19.
“What we were seeing at the drive-up clinic were people who wanted to get tested because they were curious or people who had maybe been to a party or a bar or a restaurant and knew that someone in their group had been positive, so a lot of people were doing it as preemptive measures,” UMC marketing director Eric Finley said.
But Riojas felt the clinic closure was inevitable.
“[I’m] a little annoyed as well, as I knew it was going to happen. Honestly it’s something that is going to happen,” Riojas said.
But Finley said he’s happy to give those who worked at the clinic a break.
“I am a little relieved though honestly for the workers who were out there every single day. As they transition back to their other jobs we were having a bit of a hard time staffing that,” Finley said.
Both Riojas and Finley hope Lubbock can come together to get through this pandemic.
“I think it’s something we will all get out of if we just work together on it,” said Riojas.
The City of Lubbock expanded testing over at the Patterson Clinic, and the Texas Department of Emergency Management will be hosting testing sites at two clinics across town, both of which are free.
Covenant Health as well as some UMC and CVS locations are also providing testing. All Covenant Health locations require an appointment.