Several line up outside Mexican Consulate near Midtown for COVID-19 testing

Several people lined up outside of the Mexican Consulate near Midtown waiting to be tested the morning of Sept. 9, 2020.
Several people lined up outside of the Mexican Consulate near Midtown waiting to be tested the morning of Sept. 9, 2020. (KPRC 2)

HOUSTON – Several people lined up outside of the Mexican Consulate near Midtown waiting to be tested Wednesday morning.

The Houston Health Department has set up 20 free testing sites across Houston, including four mega-sites. Health officials are urging everyone to get tested, especially those in the Latino community who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus infections.

The day’s turnout did not look like it did back in June when more than 1,500 people lined up to get free tests at the Mexican Consulate. The line of cars caused a traffic jam along the Southwest Freeway.

Officials said you will be able to get the free COVID-19 test regardless of your immigration status. Officials will only ask you for a name and phone number. The consulate will be open today from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and again on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You do not need an appointment at the Mexican Consulate testing site.

The Houston Health Department, in partnership with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Texas, will offer testing at Darrell Tully Stadium, 1050 Dairy Ashford Rd. The high-volume site has a 1,250 daily test capacity and opens 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Appointments are available at www.doineedacovid19test.com.

On-site registration is also available. The department also offers free drive-thru testing at two other mega-sites in Houston:

  • Delmar Stadium, 2020 Mangum Rd., and
  • Butler Stadium, 13755 S. Main St.

Each site will open Tuesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 650 tests. People wanting to get tested at Delmar Stadium can call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220 between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive an access code.

Butler Stadium does not require an access code, commonly referred to as an appointment.

Texas Division of Emergency Management Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Houston Astros offer free COVID-19 tests daily at Minute Maid Park (Lot C), 2208 Preston. The testing site’s capacity is 2,000 tests per day. The site features evening hours twice a week, eight drive-thru testing lanes and four walk-up testing lanes. It opens 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Tuesday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Spanish-speaking staff is available on-site. Visit texas.curativeinc.com to set an appointment or obtain more information. On-site registration is also available. TDEM and the department will also operate drive-thru testing sites Monday through Saturday at:

  • Alvin D. Baggett Community Center, 1302 Keene St., Galena Park
  • LeRoy Crump Stadium, 12321 High Star Dr.
  • HCC-Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Dr., and
  • HCC – South Campus, 1990 Airport Blvd.

TDEM sites require appointments, available by visiting txcovidtest.org. TDEM also operates a walk-up site that doesn’t require appointments at the Merfish Teen Center, 9000 S. Rice Ave, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

United Memorial Medical Center United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will offer weekday testing at drive-thru test sites at:

  • Plaza Americas Mall, 7500 Bellaire Blvd.,
  • Houston Community College-Southeast, 6815 Rustic.
  • UMMC Tidwell, 510 W. Tidwell Rd.,
  • Forest Brook Middle School, 7525 Tidwell Rd.,
  • Cullen Middle School, 6900 Scott St., and
  • Griggs School, 801 Regional Park Dr.

The sites don’t require appointments and offer testing from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 250 tests. People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Ibn Sina Foundation The Iba Sina Foundation offers free tests with rapid results at two of its clinics, 5012 N. Shepherd Dr. and 11226 S. Wilcrest Dr. Appointments for the Shepherd location are available by calling 832-426-3760 and appointments for the Wilcrest location are available at 281-495-7462. Federally Qualified Health Centers The health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) so they can expand their COVID-19 testing capacity.

The centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments are:

  • HOPE Clinic: 713-773-0803
  • Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565
  • El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880
  • Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027
  • Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 346-348-1200, and
  • Scarsdale Family Health Center: 281-824-1480.

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 department and its agency partners may shift locations and schedules of test sites to better meet community needs.

Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston testing sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus. Information obtained through testing, treatment or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.

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