Harris Health medical centers in vulnerable communities reopening
HOUSTON – Harris Health System has returned to full staffing at three community health care centers. Representatives said that staffing was scaled back at three locations in order to help supplement staff needs with the COVID-19 response at Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson hospitals. The staff returned back to Acres Home, Danny Jackson and Northwest Community Care Centers on Wednesday, Aug. 12. “We have about 33 clinical nurses and I think about 20 of our staff were pulled to go and help with the response at different locations. She said patients are still encouraged to use virtual care platforms for doctor visits.
Houston Health Department, partners announce free COVID-19 testing sites for week of July 20
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department and partners announced the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of July 20. TDEM sites require appointments by calling 844-778-255 or visiting txcovidtest.org. The sites require appointments by calling 832-426-3760 and will run through Sept. 30. Houston Health Department/FEMAThe department operates two free drive-thru COVID-19 community-based testing sites open to anyone, regardless of symptoms. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston test sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 testing site opening at HCC Southeast College to help Hispanic communities
HOUSTON – A new free COVID-19 testing site in the East End is opening up Monday at Houston Community College's Felix Fraga Campus. Houston has partnered with United Memorial Medical Center to open the site that Mayor Turner said will be used to specifically help the Hispanic communities in Houston. The site is also supposed to alleviate the testing demand at the HCC Southeast College. Since early March, more than 4,800 Hispanic people tested positive for COVID-19 in Houston, according to the Houston Health Department. Hispanic people make up more than 40% of those who tested positive, according to the Harris County Public Health Department.
Officials in Texas’ big cities say their public testing sites are being strained. Austin has begun to limit who can be tested.
In Travis County, interim County Judge Sam Biscoe said the county’s public testing is now being rationed to only people with symptoms. In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner said his city's two public testing sites, where testing is still available to people who are symptomatic or asymptomatic, reached their maximum capacities before noon. In these sites, testing is restricted to symptomatic patients, high-risk people, first responders, essential workers and asymptomatic patients who have engaged in large group settings. Community testing sites have seen increasingly long wait times as more than 38,000 positive cases were reported in the last week in Texas. The city and county sites are part of a longer list of options Texans have to get tested.
As COVID-19 cases climb, city and county leaders seek to increase testing sites
HOUSTON – Houston and surrounding counties are moving to increase testing capacity as the COVID-19 infection rate continues to climb. On Monday, Fort Bend County opened its fifth COVID-19 testing site at 9 a.m. at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Rosenberg. Within an hour, the free testing site had reached its 100 clients daily capacity. The city of Houston’s two, free, drive-through test sites at Butler and Delmar stadiums can perform a combined 1,000 tests daily. “Starting tomorrow, we will be increasing the testing capability capacity at both sites, Delmar and Butler, to 650 per site,” Turner said.
Mass food distribution event rescheduled, testing sites closed Saturday due to severe weather
HOUSTON – Local testing sites and food distribution events will be upended by severe weather that is forecasted for this weekend, officials announced Friday. Food distributionA mass food distribution event at NRG Stadium conducted by the Houston Independent School District and Houston Food Bank that has drawn thousands of families in need in previous weeks will be rescheduled officials announced. Instead, the massive food distribution event will be held Monday, May 18 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the NRG Yellow Lot. School district officials said families may continue to visit HISD’s regular, weekday food distribution sites next week. Testing sitesThe city of Houston and Harris County announced all testing sites will be closed Saturday due to the threat of severe weather.
Local leaders push to test more seniors amid coronavirus pandemic
HOUSTON – Seniors are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to catching Coronavirus. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said she is working to make sure those seniors who can’t make it to a testing site but wanted to get tested, have the means to do so. “We’re now looking at and will announce soon our mobile units to go to where senior citizens are,” Lee said. The testing would occur either at the request of a facility where seniors live or by designated facilities that have seniors who may symptoms. At the north Houston testing site, 750 people have been tested since they opened last week.