Federal funding extended for community-based COVID-19 testing sites in Texas

Fredericksburg Community Based Testing Facility

Col. Peter Coldwell, M.D. of the Texas Army National Guard, recieves a nasopharygeal swab as part of a COVID-19 screening at a community based testing facility in Fredericksburg, Texas, April 19, 2020. The Texas Military Department, in tandem with state partners, has established community based testing facilities to provide drive-in COVID-19 screenings to communities not served by a county health department. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Charles E. Spirtos)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is extending its funding for community-based COVID-19 testing sites in Houston and Dallas through July 31, Governor Greg Abbott announced Sunday.

Funding for several testing sites across the state was already extended once in June, when it was originally set to expire.

“The State of Texas is committed to providing ample testing resources as we work to contain the recent surge in COVID-19 cases,” Governor Abbott said. “Our continued collaboration with our federal partners is essential to our efforts. The extension of this program in Dallas and Houston will help secure more testing for Texans in these communities. There are over 900 testing sites across the state of Texas, and I urge Texans in need of a test to find a site nearest them.” 

The announcement comes as Austin-Travis County is struggling to keep up with testing demands, with long wait times at testing sites and a lag in test results. Officials are seeking ways to increase testing capacity locally, after the community couldn’t keep up with testing demands in June.

Austin Public Health recently began offering neighborhood testing sites in areas hard hit by COVID-19.

The state has set up a website where users can locate testing sites across Texas.

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