Federally Supported COVID-19 Testing Sites To Stay Open In Texas

Alan Scaia
July 13, 2020 - 8:14 am

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended federal support for COVID-19 testing sites in Dallas and Houston. Federal support will continue through the end of July.

    "The State of Texas is committed to providing ample testing resources as we work to contain the recent surge in COVID-19 cases," Abbott wrote in a statement. "Our continued collaboration with our federal partners is essential to our efforts. The extension of this program in Dallas and Houston will help secure more testing for Texans in these communities. There are over 900 testing sites across the state of Texas, and I urge Texans in need of a test to find a site nearest them."

    Testing sites can be found around the state at covidtest.tdem.texas.gov

    No-cost testing is available at some locations; others require payment and insurance information. Some offer drive-thru testing, others are walk-in and require authorization from a doctor.

    People eligible for testing at locations without a doctor's order should be showing symptoms such as a fever, chills, cough, sore throat, vomiting, muscle pain, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell, or shortness of breath.

    Some locations will also accept people who have been "prioritized by the state or local health department for testing." Eligibility and hours for each location are available at the link above.

    Sunday, Dallas County reported an additional 1,174 cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. Dallas County has now reported more than a thousand cases of COVID-19 for ten straight days.

    The county says about half of all cases since June 1 have been people between the ages of 18 and 39.

    “We can stop the surge of cases going higher if we all take responsibility and make our best choices. You focus on the micro-level, and by that I mean focus on your family and your circle, and let our team focus on the macro-level," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins wrote in a statement. "Please always take your mask with you when leaving the home, even if you’re going on a walk and carrying it in your pocket. You never know when you’ll be around others. Always wear your mask when you’re within six feet of people outside your family or when traveling inside of any building other than your home. We can do this North Texas, but it takes all of us."

    Dallas County has confirmed a total of 33,800 cases and 451 deaths. Of those who have died, the county says about a third have been associated with long-term care facilities.

    The rate of tests coming back positive also reached an all-time high Sunday across Texas at 16.33%. The positivity rate has stayed above 13% since June 26 and has been above 10% since June 23. Abbott has said a rate above 10% would be a "red flag" and said the rate would have to stay below that level to loosen restrictions.

    Hospitalizations also increased to a record 10,410 Sunday. Hospitals in North Texas reported 1,895 COVID-19 patients. They had 2,689 open beds, 297 available ICU beds and 1,190 available ventilators.