Free COVID-19 Testing returns to East Texas for several days

Free COVID-19 Testing returns to East Texas for several days
Covid-19 graphic (Source: Dakota, Michael)

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Free COVID-19 testing has returned to several sites in East Texas, and many people want to know if they have it.

WEBXTRA: Gregg County health official discusses public COVID-19 testing

There were more people at Spring Hill High School on Tuesday than there had been in about four months. Gregg County Health Department Administrator A.J. Harris believes it’s running smoothly.

“I think it’s going really well. I think people are really responsive to it. I do have a lot of calls of people asking where they could go to be tested if they don’t have any signs or symptoms,” Harris said.

And many people who went to the free testing in Longview did not feel sick like Gonzalo Alvarez. He thinks everyone should know if they have it for the sake of others.

“We want to control it, you know self quarantine and get whatever medication you need to stop the spread of this so everybody can do their part,” Alvarez said.

As far as the actual test, Alvarez said they asked him to cough several times with his mask on and then they took a sample of saliva swabbed from his mouth. He said it was not taken from his sinuses, and it took about two hours from parking to walking back to his car.

With results coming in from recent public tests the numbers:

“Went up a little bit, but I’m sure as more come in they’ll continue to rise,” Harris said.

WEBXTRA: Free COVID-19 testing underway at Spring Hill High School

Harris said test results still return in three to seven days, and Alvarez said they notify individuals by phone or email of the test results when finalized. Harris thinks the lines will be long for some time at free testing sites.

“I expect a lot of people to take advantage of it. Simply because it is walk-up testing, and it is geared towards those who may not have any symptoms,” Harris said.

And as far as how resilient COVID-19 may be, Harris thinks it could last a while.

“I would anticipate you could probably see it roll into the flu season,” Harris said.

Texas National Guardsmen are on hand to help out at testing sites and will hand out masks to those who don’t have them. Free testing will go on through July 7 at various locations in East Texas.

If you’d like to know where free testing is available in East Texas go to kltv.com, click on the big red box and there you will find a link to a complete list.

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