COVID-19

An organization based in the Houston suburbs is offering COVID-19 blood testing at the Victoria Community Center Annex Wednesday, Thursday and Oct. 29.

The tests, which are produced by a Chinese company, are distributed by  KingFocus Biomedical Engineering, are not being offered in conjunction with the Victoria County Public Health Department, nor are they approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

The Calabria Foundation, which is based in Waller, according to its website, rented the community center to offer the testing and will be conducting tests from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. On Oct. 29, the testing will be from 9a.m. -6 p.m. at the Victoria Community Center. From 7-10 p.m. representatives will make house calls to those who can not make it to the community center.

Tests will be conducted using a finger-prick blood draw. The level of antibodies and coronavirus particles in the bloodstream will be analyzed on-site and results will be available within 15 minutes, according to the foundation’s executive director, Chris Pantuso.

The $50 fee will be waived, Pantuso said.

Dr. C. Leilani Valdes, medical director of Regional Pathology Associates in Victoria, said she does not suggest taking a test that has not received FDA approval.

“I really wouldn’t recommend trying any test that has not at least passed that initial bar,” she said.

Molecular or antigen tests, typically conducted using an oral or nasal swab, are the primary method for determining if a patient is actively infected with COVID-19, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Most FDA-approved diagnostic tests, when ordered by a medical professional, are paid for by a patient’s insurance or by the government, Valdes said.

This story was updated on Oct. 27 to correct date and time of the testing and the role KingFocus Biomedical Engineering has in the testing.

Mark Rosenberg reports on rural community life for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at mrosenberg@vicad.com or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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Reporter

Mark Rosenberg writes about rural community life for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He covers Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, and Refugio counties. Questions or tips? Contact: mrosenberg@vicad.com or call 361-574-1264.

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