COVID-19 testing site opens in Galveston

Jaime Ramirez, a patient care technician at the University of Texas Medical Branch dons a second pair of gloves as he and other health care workers get ready to test people for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing site. The city of Galveston is considering testing hospitality and grocery store workers.

The city of Galveston is considering testing hospitality and grocery store workers with federal money it has received to assist coronavirus recovery and response among low-income populations.

It’d be another step on the road to understanding how the virus is spreading in the community and to reassuring both residents and tourists as more businesses reopen, officials said.

The Question of the Week is: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT COVID-19 TESTING FOR RESTAURANT AND GROCERY STORE WORKERS?

1. It should be mandatory and should be paid for with federal funds meant for issues around coronavirus. Business owners who don’t comply should be fined or otherwise punished.

2. It should be mandatory, but the cost should fall on the business owners. Business owners who don’t comply should be fined or otherwise punished.

3. It should be recommended that these business owners pay to have their employees tested, but there should be no fines or punishment.

4. It should be recommended that these workers be tested, and business owners should be able to secure funding by applying for it.

5. It is unnecessary.

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(55) comments

Kenneth Cambiano

Don’t you think it’s a little too late to start now.

Walter Dannenmaier

Just another stupid thing to do with Federal funds. Not as stupid as when we cut down all the live oak trees after Hurricane Ike which would have revived if given enough time, but we were afraid to lose the Federal funds, but still stupid. There has been plenty of time to see a cluster from Kroger or Randall's or Arlan's if we were gonna see it. Home Depot, too.

Carlos Ponce

Unless tested daily there is no guarantee that anyone is Hunan Virus free. The time involved in testing isn't much but multiply that by the number of employees. And who administers the tests? A trained health care provider or the store manager? Time plus costs multiplied by number. This idea is not thought out.

Even if you just use the thermal scan there are those who are asymptomatic.

Raymond Lewis

What is "Hunan Virus"?

Carlos Ponce

I'm sorry, that should be the Wuhan virus. Hunan is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, part of the South Central China region located on the south bank of the Yangtze River. Wuhan is the capital of the city of Hubei Province. Hubei and Hunan are next to each other with Hubei sitting to Hubei's south. I must be thinking of Chinese cuisine to insert Hunan in place of Wuhan.

Allison Buchtien

Why do you used the term Wuhan virus instead of the proper terms Covid-19 or coronavirus?

Carlos Ponce

Because that was the term that used point of origin in its name and because the thought police are trying to pass a law saying you cannot use the terms Chinese virus or Wuhan virus. WHO is insisting not to use the terms. Only an idiot thinks the terms are racist. When traveling to Mexico you are warned not to drink the water or you might get Montezuma's revenge. Was that racist???? No.

Allison Buchtien

So how do you feel about Asian Americans who are being targeted because of the use of the term?

Carlos Ponce

Are they being targeted because of use of the term?

Carlos Ponce

Allison, would you shake the hand of a person of Asian descent? Would your refusal be termed "racist" even if you won't shake hands with anyone regardless of race?

Allison Buchtien

I'm sure it doesn't help. I found these interesting articles: https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/23074/ and https://www.breezejmu.org/opinion/opinion-calling-it-the-wuhan-virus-isn-t-racist-it-s-worse/article_b9382af6-993a-11ea-8b1d-1717fff55372.html. I know none of this will change your views but I'd just like to put it out there.

It's humanity as a whole versus the virus.

Carlos Ponce

Nothing in either of your websites show any examples of discrimination or racism.

Allison Buchtien

Here you go https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_xenophobia_and_racism_related_to_the_COVID-19_pandemic

Carlos Ponce

WHOOPS! Your WIKI article starts by saying the pandemic started in Wuhan China! By your criteria, the WIKI article could be considered XENOPHOBIC![scared]

And NONE of those reported "infractions" are traced to calling it the Wuhan virus or the Chinese Virus.

Several CNN anchors and reporters referred to it as the "Wuhan coronavirus" and "China's coronavirus." Is CNN racist?

https://twitter.com/mrctv/status/1238186498433966081

Gary Scoggin

Carlos is just behind in his Fox talking points with that “Wuhan” thing. I think they’ve moved on from that, unless Sean has started calling it that again.

Carlos Ponce

FOX? As indicated in my last post, CNN kept using the term "Wuhan Virus in their broadcasts and chyrons.

Gary Scoggin

Well I'm glad to see you've switched from Fox to CNN. Maybe you can start to get some accurate news. Do Sean and Tucker know?

Carlos Ponce

I get a variety of news. CNN, MSNBC are laugh worthy with their misinformation. They are verified liars, not because they conflict with FOX, but because they conflict with truth. They'' report truth with an über Leftist slant.

Terry Moore

Testing is a point in time only result. I think the antibody test is better. So you know who has had it and are fairly safe(though not proven 100 percent yet) to not get it again.

Susan Fennewald

I think its a GREAT idea! I don't understand the push-back. This is an opportunity to test those who have to work through this pandemic, but may not have health insurance or enough money to get tested. These are the folks put in danger from the reopening - and who will expose more people if they don't have a chance to be tested. Testing isn't perfect, but "not testing" is even less perfect.

Virginia Stone

Yes, I believe they should be comprehensively tested with anti-body testing first.

PD Hyatt

IF people want to be tested there are plenty of places that are testing. This nation used to be a free nation and now that seems to be going by the wayside....

David Schuler

If you can test and get accurate results for each and every employee before they start each and every shift then workplace testing can be effective in reducing the spread of the virus. Because otherwise, what's the use? In my opinion it's far better to spend the money on a properly scientific truly random large-scale antibody test study that could provide useful data on how the virus has spread in our community. The number of unanswered questions (who administers, how often, how accurate, who pays, what do to if positive, do you go to jail, etc) is far too large at this point to even have an opinion. But i am firmly in the camp that wonders, 'if the virus is so bad, how come we haven't seen Krogers' and Home Depot employees dropping like flies?' Something just doesn't add up.

Ray Taft

If you think that employees in the stores, shops and restaurants where you want to go should be tested at someone else’s expense is a good idea, then here’s a much, much better idea.

The people who are going into those places should be tested before they are allowed to go in. They should be tested and must wear a tag proving they are free from the Chinese Hunan Virus before being allowed anywhere.

They would have to pay for it themselves, and they would have to show their tag to anyone who asks to see it. Testing would need to be done daily, if you want to go somewhere that day.

And it should start with the mayor, city council and all members of the press.

David Schuler

Amen!

Bailey Jones

The need for testing as many people as possible, and in particular those "essential" people that are unavoidable for normal life is obvious - because in the absence of a vaccine or a treatment, there is simply no other way to control the spread of a disease than detection and quarantine.

The question of who pays for it comes down to the question of who has the responsibility and capability to protect the public. Many Americans get regularly tested now - for drugs. That cost is carried by the employer and built into their business model. COVID testing is a much larger and much more expensive proposition. Since we're in a great depression, it's not reasonable to impose this financial burden on businesses, so I would propose that it be paid for out of our taxes, which means federal money, since local governments and hospital districts are already underwater from the economic effects of the virus. The obvious ways to do this are with mobile testers who travel from store to store and test employees, or locally accessible test centers that employees can get to, and get in and out of, in a reasonable time, or a combination of both.

But I agree with the comment that testing employees at a grocery store isn't enough. Everyone should be tested, and regularly. But that's been proven to be beyond the capability of the Trump administration, the Abbott administration, and local governments. Testing essential employees is the next best thing, and is something that's actually achievable.

Ray Taft

Hey Bailey, did you get tested?

Bailey Jones

No, Ray, I haven't been tested. But I always wear a mask when out in public. You?

Gary Miller

Bailey> Your socialist plan has faults. The testing you offer is backward looking. Wuhan virus free at this moment but infected before the minute expires. Far better choice being used by smart venues is checking for fever. Covid 19 (AKA Wuhan/Chinese flue) first presents a temp rise several hours before becoming infectious. Temp check offers early detection and earlier treatment.

Bailey Jones

Would that it were true, Gary. But it's not. COVID-19 can spread from asymptomatic patients. The CDC estimates that between 20% and 50% of COVID-19 patients have no symptoms, and between 50% and 100% of asymptomatic cases are contagious.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

Nothing wrong with checking temperatures - but it misses 20-50% of cases.

Gary Miller

Just another way to waste taxpayer money. Tested at 9:00 am, infected at 9:10 am but not tested again until 9:00 am next day? Bureaucrats are that stupid. First evidence of Covid infection is temp rise hours before being infectious. Checking owners, employees temp every 4 hours and customers temp on entry is quicker, cheaper and more effective.

Gary Scoggin

It wouldn’t be a Monday if Gary M didn’t put “bureaucrats” and “stupid” together in a sentence. I wonder if he’s actually ever met any?

Carlos Ponce

“bureaucrats” and “stupid” together. Isn't that redundant?

Gary Scoggin

I think you do a disservice to many government employees who work hard and keep the wheels turning. I know lots of government employees that contribute lots to our society. The assumption that they are stupid says more about the person making it than the target. I'm sure you don't appreciate it when people (wrongly) throw similar insults at teachers. I have no high expectations for Mr. Miller in this regard but I thought you had more class than that. I think you owe our civil servants an apology.

Don Schlessinger

[thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

“bureaucrats” and “stupid” together. Isn't that redundant?

I'm posting about Federal level bureaucrats, you know those who cannot be removed for their incompetence.

Gary Scoggin

So you have enough direct experience to make this generalization? How many federal employees have you interacted with and what percentage would you classify as stupid? And what is your criteria?

Carlos Ponce

Trust me, I have.

Gary Scoggin

Do you call them stupid to their faces or just on the internet?

Carlos Ponce

Just on the internet. Deep staters have a long reach.

Gary Miller

Gary S. I had several years of working as and with bureaucrats. First rule of Bureaucrats is stay out of trouble by never making a decision that could go bad. Let the boss bureaucrat make the decisions.

Charlotte O'rourke

Ambivalence - while I agree testing is a very good idea to promote public health and safety, I voted for recommending and business owners can apply for help with funding.

My issues have to do with privacy rights and what the business owner will do with the results. If testing positive and unable to work, would employees be paid? How? Will they be able to Return to Work with Same job? In other words, what’s the plan for positive results?

I would visit restaurants that offered tests to staff, wore masks, social distanced tables, etc. I would not go to places that do not take precautions and allow a free for all.

David Schuler

Testing for testing's sake is quite simply flailing around looking for something to do to get elected or reelected. It won't to much at all to reduce the infection rate but is a fabulous way to create political CYA capital to be used later.

Charlotte O'rourke

“Testing for testing's sake”?

I thought the goal was to remove anyone testing positive for covid 19 or is a carrier of it? That would not be testing for testing’s sake but to remove workers that can infect others. The only reason I’m ambivalent is I don’t know what happens to those released workers that can no longer support their family. Will they get unemployment? Able to go back to same employer once no longer positive? What will employers do with those results and will a stigma be attached to the private medical information? Will this open Pandora’s box and allow employers to have access to additional types of medical information?

David Schuler

In theory it sounds good. In practice, however, it's utterly and totally impractical and a waste of time and money if the desired (and expected) goal is zero infected workers. We need to be collecting data that will help us be better prepared in the event a version of the virus reappears in the fall. Time to use our resources to look forward, not back.

Bailey Jones

The goal isn't zero infected workers. The goal is to identify infected workers and quarantine them so that they don't spread the disease to their coworkers, and the public.

Gary Miller

David> Well said.

Bailey Jones

Unfortunately, many employers don't offer paid sick time to their employees. Some companies - I know Home Depot is one - offered every employee an additional 14 days of sick pay, just in case they need it for quarantine. That the only two choices some employees have are working and spreading a pandemic, or staying home without pay and losing their home or car, just shows how broken our economic system is.

Ted Gillis

Bailey, I understand why they don’t want to wear a face mask, it’s because our dear leader refuses to wear one in public, however to object to testing is exactly the opposite from what our leader does, as Donald Trump has stated that he gets tested everyday.

It’s a positively negative correlation.

Carlos Ponce

Ted posts, "I understand why they don't want to wear a face mask..."

Reason? Why would I want to hide this terrific face?[cool]

Bailey Jones

No need to hide, Carlos. You can now get custom face masks with any image you want - you can put your own face on your mask if you'd like. Or Trump's face - wouldn't that be dreamy?

Carlos Ponce

I'm not hiding, Bailey. Are you?

Bailey Jones

OMG Carlos - you're running around naked again? Please cover up. In addition to pants, shirt, shoes, socks, and possibly a hat, consider adding another few square inches of fabric to possibly save a life.

Carlos Ponce

Hey! No one is complaining![wink]

Ted Gillis

I’m sure it’s terrific Carlos.

(Searching for that devil face emoji right now)

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