From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the need for testing pushed state and local officials to implement progressively easier access. In Tarrant County, a pair of new covid testing sites seek to expand the availability of testing along with expedient results for patients fitting the criteria.
Glen Whitley, a judge in Tarrant County, said the should see the two new covid testing sites begin operation by the end of next week. He worked in coordination with officials from 2 organizations, UNT Health Science Center and UT Southwestern in Fort Worth, to set up the sites.
Initially, the first site will operate within Forth Worth. “We hope, hope, hope that by to the middle to the end of next week, that we’ll have one in Fort Worth and one in Arlington,” said Whitley. He also said personnel will likely equip themselves with necessary protective gear like face masks and gloves.
Covid Testing Operation
Both sites should run 7 days a week, opening at 8 and closing by 5. Whitley expects them to conduct 75 to 100 tests each day during those hours. Then, tests can ship to local laboratories like Quest and LabCorp. That ensures speedy results, ideally within 24 hours.
However, unlike other covid testing sites throughout the country, service requires entering the facility. Other locations, like those in Washington, provide drive-thru testing services.
Additionally, JPS Health Network plans to open for in-house testing, which provides results in as little as a single hour. Testing personnel use three different rapid tests for their patients. Robert Earley, president and CEO of JPS, calls it a “tremendous win.”
While new testing facilities pop up throughout the county, Whitley tempered his enthusiasm with the reality of a national scarcity of tests. That prevents widespread testing. Tarrant County’s population exceeds 2 million. Testing remains restricted to only those who fit stringent criteria.