Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee hosts free COVID-19 testing site alongside rapper Paul Wall

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by 42 percent since Memorial Day, and experts agree testing also needs to increase.

On Saturday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee hosted a "For the People" COVID-19 testing site alongside Houston rapper, Paul Wall, and CEO of Houston-based Rap-A-Lot Records, J Prince.

"I know you're tired of COVID, but COVID ain't tired of us," Wall said at the event.

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As of Friday, restaurants could have 75 percent capacity, but local officials say they wish the reopening of the state would slow down.

"Today, I am calling on the governor to be able to work with local government and to slow the pace of opening now," the Congresswoman said.

But, when Gov. Abbott announced the reopening plan, he said they expected to see an increase in cases. So, the responsibility to protect against the virus falls on the public.

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"We've got to do everything we can (to) not be complacent with this virus because it remains deadly, and we have to keep that in mind," said Dr. Umair Shah with Harris County Public Health.

The first step is to get tested. The testing site at the J Prince boxing gym in Fifth Ward was offering free tests to about 200 cars.

"We want to put a friendly halt on infections by getting people tested, so they can self-isolate or quarantine or get treated," Jackson Lee said.

The next step is to wear a mask when leaving the house.

"I am wearing my mask in my car, one deep," Wall said. "I don't care if I'm in there by myself. I've got my mask and my gloves on. When I'm in the house sometimes, I got my mask on. It's serious, man."

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