Some Green Country Sites Offering COVID-19 Testing For People Without Symptoms

Wednesday, April 29th 2020, 8:24 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is encouraging anyone to get tested even if they don't have a cough, fever or shortness of breath.

At the OSU Center for Health Sciences, doctors said they have already been testing people who are not showing any symptoms. The center said they have received more than 900 phone calls, resulting in more than 300 people getting tested since last Monday.

"I've had patients call me and I've said, 'Not a problem, let's do this,’” Dr. Micah Derby with OSU Medicine said.

Dr. Derby said that includes people who are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19. Some may just be curious if they have it.

"People who are asymptomatic, absolutely, to help protect our fellow Oklahomans. The testing is available,” Dr. Derby said. “If they feel as if they need to be tested, we have no problem providing that test for them.”

But a few miles away at the OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic, an infectious disease specialist said in order to be tested, someone needs to have either traveled outside the state, have a known exposure to COVID-19, or be showing symptoms.

Dr. Kimberly Martin said those symptoms were updated on April 27 to include: a new loss of smell, diarrhea, fever, cough and shortness of breath.

OU Physicians will be back at 41st and Yale Thursday to continue testing there. OU Physicians said it tested nearly 200 people last week. It started testing last Monday, April 20.

In Pawhuska, the Osage Nation said it tested nearly 60 people Wednesday, with results expected to be ready by Friday. It also offered testing on April 15 and April 22 and said none of those results came back positive. Testing is open to members of the tribe; no appointment is necessary, and patients do not need to have any symptoms at all.

Dr. Bruce Dart with the Tulsa Health Department addressed asymptomatic testing in Wednesday’s news conference.

"Bottom line though is that if anyone calls us, if they absolutely want a test, we will test them. But we're going to maintain our priority on those who are most at risk,” Dr. Dart said.

Dr. Derby adds testing people without any symptoms who find out they are positive, could lead to more convalescent plasma donations.

To make an appointment with the OSU Center for Health Sciences, call 918-599-5300 to be screened and, if needed, scheduled for testing.

OU Physicians said people must call ahead at 918-619-4980 to determine if an appointment is needed. No drop-ins are allowed.