Free COVID-19 Mobile Testing Scheduled Friday

Another free COVID-19 mobile test collection is scheduled from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Friday, May 15, at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, 1200 Houston St., in Sulphur Springs.

Hopkins County Hospital District COO/EMS Director Brent Smith and Hopkins County Emergency Management Team encourage individuals to take advantage of the opportunity to test if they feel that they may have come in contact with someone or feel they have symptoms.

Anyone working in the fields of healthcare, public safety or critical infrastructure will automatically be accepted for the testing even if the person has no symptoms.

Registration is required. The registration call line, 512-883-2400, opened at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 14, for the free mobile test collection screening at the Civic Center. Registration can also be conducted online to txcovidtest.org. Those registering will be asked some simple brief questions about any symptoms they may have

Testers don’t have to be Hopkins County residents to test Friday at the free testing site. In fact, tests may be scheduled at any of the state’s mobile test collection sites free. The City of Emory will also offer free mobile test collection on Friday at the Rains Junior High School. Callers (or online registrants) may request either location.

Those registered will simply stay in a vehicle, get in line and roll down their window when it’s time to be tested. The sample will be taken. When the results are in, the person tested will be notified of the results.

If testing at any other type of test location, those being tested should be sure to enquire about associated fees. A list of available and upcoming testing locations, free or otherwise, can be viewed online at  covidtest.tedem.texas.gov. Check the map, then click the site or additional information including times, address and directions.

On April 30, 82 tests were collected at the mobile screening conducted by the National Guard, in conjunction with multiple state and local agencies, at the Civic Center. Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said it’s his understanding that up to 130 screenings can be conducted this Friday at the Civic Center.

 “We had 82 last time and hope to do all 130 this time, the more tested the better. Last time, we had 82 negatives,” Newsom said.

While all of the tests from the April 30 mobile test collection came back negative for Coronavirus, Hopkins County has had four new positive cases of COVID-19 reported since May 1 (tested at either a private lab or Texas Department of State Health Services). While very few details have been released about any of the Hopkins County coronavirus patients due to HIPPA regulations, all four individuals recently diagnosed, as far as Newsom has been informed, have been in self quarantine, where they have been treated for the virus at home.

However, Newsom said the Hopkins County Local Health Authority, Dr. IL Balkcom, is working with the local cases in Hopkins County to ensure procedures are being followed with the related cases. Balkcom has a nurse assigned as a contact tracer, someone who investigates people who have had the virus to trace where they may have been infected.

“Our hospital has more than enough space to take care of anyone, but most active cases are at home,” Newsom said, noting one woman who was treated at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs for COVID-19 agreed to be videoed as she was leaving the hospital. That brief clip was shared by the hospital on social media.

“That is the most serious case we’ve had yet, that we know of, but she recovered. God has got his hand on this county. Citizens need to continue to do what they are doing. Hopkins County has done extremely well,” Newsom said.

Both Newsom and Smith encourage local citizens to continue practicing social distancing, proper hand washing and good hygiene to help slow the spread and process of this virus.


Author: Faith Huffman

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