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Amid Coronavirus Panic, North Texans Can Now Get Tested For COVID-19 In Drive Thru

DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — It's not your typical drive-thru.

"We'll have four or five cars lined up, and we'll be bebopping around," said Dr. Martin McElya.

In the midst of a pandemic, Doctor Martin McElya is seeing patients in the comfort of their own cars, as they sit in the parking lot of the Neighborhood Medical Center clinic in Dallas.

"It really is for the patient population who are afraid to step into the office," McElya said.

His clinic is offering all types of services, but the big one is a new test for the novel coronavirus, made available by Clinical Pathology Laboratories, a private lab, as of Wednesday.

In three days, this clinic has performed about a dozen tests, though many more patients have requested one.

Even with more testing available, quantities are still limited.

"This is kind of a precious resource. I don't want to use it on just anyone," McElya said.

Patients have to test negative for both the flu and strep, and have symptoms of COVID-19 — a fever, dry cough and some other factors.

For one patient, it was her job.

"She works with international travelers all day long," she said.

But, it's really up to the doctor to decide.

"It is subjective," McElya said.

Results take one to three days to come back, and McElya is expecting to find some patients popping up positive.

"We probably will find we're looking at the tip of the iceberg," he said.

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