Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that they have been working with Walgreens to bring two more testings sites to Harris County.
Starting on Friday, April 17, the Walgreens sites will be able to handle up to 200 tests a day at their store locations on Westheimer in Houston and West Southmore in Pasadena.
But don't just drive there and expect to be served. Just as at the other two public testing sites in the county and two in the city of Houston, an advance sign-up is required.
"Testing in these locations will be available by appointment and individuals will first need to complete a digital health assessment to determine eligibility using criteria establish by CDC," according to a press release announcing the agreement.
Update 12:30 p.m. Thursday: In a late morning press conference, Hidalgo repeated that there is still more demand for tests than supply. She said the beauty of the testing being done at Walgreens is that "These are 15 minute tests. They are rapid tests." She added, however, that because of reporting requirements, the people taking the tests will not receive their results for 24 hours.
At present the Walgreens sites are open to first responders, health care workers and people 65 and over showing the symptoms the federal Centers for Disease Control has recognized which includes a dry cough. Both the city of Houston and Fort Bend County have opened up their public testing sites to anyone who desires a test — since there is widespread recognition that there are a number of people who have coronavirus, are asymptomatic but perfectly capable of contributing to community spread of the virus — but Hidalgo sais she is not ready to do that.
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In a joint statement, Abbott and Hidalgo said:
"Collection and testing is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against COVID-19, and we are working every day to increase testing capacity for the people of Harris County. We are grateful to Walgreens for their partnership to get these new sites online so we can continue to ramp up testing, identify Texans who have contracted COVID-19, and slow the spread of this virus."
The locations of the two new testing sites are: 14531 Westheimer in Houston and 101 West Southmore in
To make an appointment and learn more, visit walgreens.com/coronavirus or walgreens.com/findcare.