7 test positive for coronavirus at free drive-thru center

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Friday, officials from the United Memorial Medical Center said they received a total of 105 completed test results and seven of those individuals tested positive for COVID-19.

Several hundred other tests are currently undergoing microbiological testing.

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Houston-area free testing began Thursday, March 19, nearly a week after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced it would begin.

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This is why Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is upset with government response with COVID-19 tests.

Dr. Joe Varon with the United Memorial Medical Center explained the process to get tested at a press conference. He says it takes about four to 24 hours to get the results.

"Once you come to see us, you will go through a brief screening. If we believe that you need to be tested, you will go through a registration department, and have a very easy nasal/swab test that will take a few minutes to do," Varon said. "If you are coming to us because you think you have COVID-19, you need to be isolated for a minimum of 14 days."

President Donald Trump signed a Congressional bill last week that allows people with symptoms of the coronavirus to be tested for free.

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People lined up before dawn to get COVID-19 testing

The process is something that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says she is not happy with, but they are working to figure out the next steps.

"The testing has not been moving fast. Tests that should've been done in January, produced, have not been done but we have a light at the end of the tunnel," Lee said.

The United Memorial Medical Center free-of-charge testing location is located at 510 West Tidwell, on the following days and times:

  • Thursday, March 19: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Friday, March 20: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Varon says they will treat anyone, regardless of their insurance status - insured or uninsured.
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