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Houston, Harris County announced expanded coronavirus testing. What that means for you

COVID-19 testing criteria expanded
COVID-19 testing criteria expanded

HOUSTON – Houston and Harris County officials announced the expansion and doubling of coronavirus testing capabilities Monday. Between the city and county, health officials should be able to conduct nearly 2,200 coronavirus tests daily.

Here’s what that means for you:

Houston

Between the city’s two testing locations, officials will now have the ability to conduct 1,000 coronavirus tests per day. As a result, they opened up testing to anyone who wants to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Tests are free
  • People have to call the department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing and how to obtain their test results.
  • The community sites only accept people with the identification code obtained through the department’s COVID-19 call center.
  • People showing up at the test sites without an identification code will not get tested.
  • Workers at the sites only collect insurance information and don’t accept payment.
  • The information obtained through testing or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.

Harris County

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that the county was expanding its testing capabilities by adding two mobile testing units. With the new units, the county as a whole will be able to conduct about 1,200 coronavirus tests per day.

Unlike in Houston, in Harris County people still need to go through a screening process and meet certain criteria to be tested.

“We still have limited testing so we have to prioritize those who most need the test,” Hidalgo said.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • To be tested, residents must complete online screening via ReadyHarris.org and obtain an authorization code. If you can’t sign up online, you can call the Harris County Public Health COVID-19 resource line at 832-927-7575.
  • Once confirmed they meet the criteria for testing, residents will be provided an appointment time and directed to a testing site closest to them.
  • Walk-ins will be turned away.
  • The mobile testing units will be allocated to the precincts from Monday through Saturday, spending three days in two precincts, and three days in the other two precincts.

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