Both Harris County COVID-19 testing sites, including the one in Baytown, are running at full capacity, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said in a press conference Thursday. Each can accommodate about 250 people a day, she said.
After a weekend of being limited to testing first responders and medical personnel, both sites opened for pre-screened members of the public Monday.
To be tested, a person must first complete an online evaluation at ReadyHarris.org. Those considered to be high-risk based on the online assessment are then referred for telephone screening—those at highest risk are then given a case number and told which site to go to.
By mid-afternoon Thursday, about 54,000 people completed the online
evaluation, according to Sam Bissett, communication specialist with Harris County Public Health.
About 1,700 individuals have been tested at the two sites, he said.
Currently, the county has enough supplies on hand for another four to six days of operation, Bissett said. Hidalgo said in her press conference that more supplies are expected from the federal government.
Harris County is providing the personnel, screening, sites and logistics support, she said, but capacity is limited by test kits and protective equipment available only from the federal government.
If supplies continue to be available, Bissett said both sites are expected to remain in operation for several weeks.
While the site is operated by Harris County, it is also open to residents of adjacent counties by way of the same screening process.
Hidalgo said the City of Houston is also running one testing site and preparing to open another.
Harris County’s health department is managing COVID-19 response for all parts of the county except for the City of Houston, which has its own health department response.
On Thursday, Harris County announced 16 new cases outside of Houston, bringing the total to 135, including one death. The City of Houston announced two new cases Thursday and also confirmed the first coronavirus death within the city, a woman between the ages of 60 and 70 who had underlying health problems.
Chambers County has confirmed two COVID-19 cases, both in the western part of the county.