As more cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed in the Texas Panhandle, the BSA Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department is doing their part to help one of our area’s at-risk populations. BSA EMS has been assigned by the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force to administer COVID-19 tests to residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The BSA EMS team is helping administer the tests in response to an executive order issued by Governor Greg Abbott.
BSA EMS has served as a response team for the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force for the past five years where they have assisted in a number of disasters, including Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The Emergency Medical Task Force is a group of first responders who provide emergency care during disasters or significant events.
To make COVID-19 testing more efficient, the BSA EMS team is equipped with a laptop, laser printer and label printer. Each facility resident is tested using a nasal swab which is then properly labeled and stored in a cooled container. Once all tests have been administered, the testing kits are driven to the National Guard Armory in Lubbock and then taken to various testing labs in Texas. Results are available within three to five days of being received by the lab.
BSA EMS has already tested more than 1,000 nursing home and assisted living facility residents in nine facilities in the area.