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More COVID-19 Test Sites open as death count rises

INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS TEST SITES: • United Memorial Med Ctr. site at 510 w. Tidwell, as seen above is free, and does not require pre-screening. They also have sites in Sugar Land, and at Forest Brook Middle School. • City of Houston call 832-393-4220 for pre-screening. Two sites are open, at Butler and Delmar Stadiums. • Harris County has one site open in East Harris County, in the Baytown area, and another in the Katy area. Prescreening is done at or by calling 832-927-7575.

Harris County is looking at an escalating count of positive cases of COVID19 flu, according to health officials. The 19 county area around Harris County has registered about 3000 cases, as shown in the chart at the left, and about 44 deaths. These figures have doubled in just a few days.

Authorities are reminding everyone of the need to follow the “Stay Safe” rules: wash your hands, keep a social distance from everyone, and stay at home, not in public. Only those who are conducting “essential business” should be away from home. A list of these is on page 3.

Testing for anyone with the symptoms of the virus, which include a fever over 100.4 degrees, a dry cough, difficult breathing, chills, runny/stuffy nose, shortness of breath, sore throat, recent international travel, or exposure to someone suspected of having the virus or reasons for getting a test. This will allow you to get treatment, and give the health authorities information about the spread of the disease.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee opened a third private drive-thru test site at Forest Brook Middle School last Thursday, working with UMMC, the United Memorial Medical Center. Testing at this site is free, and does not require prescreening. This is the third site she has opened in the area, including a site at 510 West Tidwell and another at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugarland.

Jackson said “We have done this to save lives.” She said the choice of Forest Brook Middle School as a site was because census data indicated a high number of senior citizens who live in the area.

The Congresswoman said the sites she has worked to open are meant to compliment the city and county-backed testing sites that have also opened in recent days.

About 3,000 people have been tested since the first UMMC testing site opened, officials said. Each site can test about 250 to 350 persons per day. They are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. About 9% of the tests have come back positive, officials said.

People with symptoms are allowed to go to the testing sites, where they will be screened before being tested. Results are available in a few days.

Sheila Jackson Lee has also participated in the few “pop-up” test sites. On Monday of this week, she was at the community center in Jacinto City, where she helped test first responders.