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How people without vehicles, disabilities are getting tested for COVID-19

HOUSTON – Several COVID-19 testing sites have been added around the Houston area, especially in areas determined to be high risk.

But what resources are available to get people to these testing sites if they do not have a car or other means of proper transportation?

Mayor Sylvester Turner has made it clear he doesn’t want to leave anyone behind in the City of Houston in regards to food access, testing and transportation.

The mayor has appointed two directors of the mayor’s office for People with Disabilities to tackle this issue, who are themselves disabled.

“I’m also a blind person, so making sure that people with disabilities have equitable access, to all of our city’s services including testing, is of the utmost importance for me personally, as well as professionally,” said Gabe Casarez, with the mayor’s office for People with Disabilities.

Ana Marquez and her husband are blind. They too have wondered how are they going to get to a testing site in the midst of this pandemic.

“...Seria todo un reto para nosotros ir al super mercado,” Marquez explained in Spanish how just getting to a grocery store is a challenge in itself.

With the help of the Houston Health Department and other partnerships around town, like METRO, together they are closing the gap for this community.

“All folks need to do is call the COVID-19 testing center. That telephone number is 832-393-4220 and indicate you are a person with disabilities in need of transportation to get testing or a person with a disability who can not leave their home,” a representative said.

If people can’t leave their homes, testing can be arranged to come straight to them where a sample can be collected at home. Another option is that a vehicle can be scheduled to drive to the person’s home to pick them up and take them to the testing site.