FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 10, 2020
CONTACT: Jenna Vinson
Communications and Community Engagement Director
Collaborative Effort Leads to Availability of COVID-19 Testing
New Braunfels, TX — A collaborative effort involving the City of New Braunfels, Comal County, New Braunfels Utilities, the McKenna Foundation, and both local school districts has provided the availability of testing for COVID-19 in New Braunfels. Resources provided by all partners made it possible to establish a drive thru testing site that has conducted 34 tests for patients that have been identified by their physicians as in need of testing.
“A concerted community-wide response is vital to reducing the spread of this virus and mitigating the risk to our residents,” said Mayor Barron Casteel. “The most effective response is a cohesive and coordinated strategy across all public organizations to fully utilize the community’s available resources. Collaboration between different entities allows for a response to the scale that is necessary to protect our community from a threat like COVID-19.”
“The New Braunfels Fire Department has personnel that are uniquely trained for the task and has the appropriate personal protective equipment to safely handle the swabs,” continued Casteel. “Dr. Dorothy Overman, Dr. Judith Thompson, and Dr. Cecily Kelly have been instrumental in establishing the drive through testing center protocols and providing the training necessary to prepare NBFD personnel to safely collect test samples.”
The New Braunfels Fire Department’s emergency medical personnel are assessing patients and conducting the swabs, NBU has established a phone bank for testing questions, including the technology, Comal County is providing the location, security and expertise from the County Health Department, and nurses from Comal ISD and New Braunfels ISD are staffing the phone lines.
“Without the critical resources and personnel provided by the City, County, NBU, NBISD, CISD, and McKenna Foundation, and the leadership of our valued medical professionals, our community would be at a greater risk,” said Casteel. “The City’s strong relationship with these and many other organizations is demonstrated through this project and ensures we can provide the highest quality service to keep New Braunfels safe.”