Harris and Fort Bend County COVID-19 test sites closed due to inclement weather

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- All Harris County COVID-19 test sites are closed on Friday and Saturday due to inclement weather in the Houston-area.

Test sites will be open in Katy and Baytown on Sunday.

All Fort Bend County testing sites are also closed for the remainder of Friday and all of Saturday.

Earlier this week, the Houston Health Department announced its partners have set up new sites in some of the city's most vulnerable areas.

First, the Texas Division of Emergency Management along with the city will open a drive-thru testing site at Moreno Elementary School, located at 620 E. Canino Rd., for Houston's Northside and Northline areas.

Another drive-thru site will be set up at Holland Middle School, located at 1600 Gellhorn Dr., for Pleasantville-area neighborhoods.

These two sites will be open starting Monday, May 11-16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or until each reaches its daily capacity of 250 tests.

Both of these sites require appointments, which can obtained by calling 512-883-2400 or visiting TXCOVIDTEST.org.

Meanwhile, United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will open a new drive-thru and walk-up test site at the Stimley-Blue Ridge Neighborhood Library, located at 7007 W. Fuqua Street, in Missouri City.

This site will be open starting Monday, May 11-16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until it reaches its daily capacity of 250 tests. This testing location does not require appointments, and anyone can be tested whether you have experienced symptoms or not.

UMMC will continue to offer drive-thru testing at its site at Houston Community College-Southeast, located at 6815 Rustic, until May 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until reaching its daily 250 test capacity.

If you'd like more information about UMMC testing sites, you can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

In addition, the Houston Health Department will relocate its mobile unit to the Third Ward Multi-Service Center on Ennis Street starting Tuesday, May 12-16.

Anyone can get tested and people don't need an appointment to get a free COVID-19 test through the department's mobile unit, which offers drive-thru or walk-up options.
Mobile unit testing is set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until reaching daily capacity of 100 tests.

After May 16, this site will then relocate to the Northeast Multi-Service Center, located at 9720 Spaulding Street, starting May 19-23. The department also continues to operate two free drive-thru COVID-19 community-based testing sites open to anyone, regardless of symptoms.

Each site has capacity for 500 tests per day and opens daily until capacity is reached.

People must call the department's COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220 to receive an access code and directions to the nearest community-based site or get more information about the department's mobile unit.

During a briefing last Thursday, the city of Houston's recovery leader Marvin Odum announced the city plans to add 24 new testing locations by the end of May. The free sites will be open to anyone who wishes to get tested.

MORE HOUSTON TESTING SITES: During a briefing on Thursday, Odum said all the current testing sites are marked in red and the areas for the first wave of new sites are in green.

During the week of May 11, testing sites will open at both the Melrose Community Center in north Houston and the Clinton Community Center on the east side.

The following week, on May 18-23, people can get tested at Lakewood Community Center, also on the east side, and Hartman Community Center, located just southwest of Galena Park.

In northeast Houston, the Hobart Taylor Community Center will be open for testing starting May 26-30.

"This is just a taste of the many locations to come," said Odum.
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Houston recovery czar Marvin Odum explains the reasons for the expansion of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Odum said the city will be using a combination of fixed sites, mobile testing units and "strategic outreach teams." He added the new testing sites will prioritize those who are most at-risk of getting the virus.

"These are neighborhoods where people are more likely to die if they get COVID-19," said Odum.

Odum also said 300 new contract tracers will be added to the city's response efforts.

Meanwhile, the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) just announced that a number of Texas federally qualified health clinics (FQHC) will receive grants to help these facilities expand COVID-19 testing to some of the areas most vulnerable communities.

The city's health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to the following four local FQHCs. Below are the centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments:

  • Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565
  • El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880
  • Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027 and
  • Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 877-596-6192.

FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income and family size, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.

The video above is from a previous story.
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