Tarrant County residents have a new tool to use when it comes to scheduling an appointment to get tested for COVID-19.
On Sunday the county launched a website that allows residents to go through a self-screening process, and if they meet a strict criteria, the site will automatically schedule an appointment for them at a Fort Worth testing site.
Click here to navigate to the site.
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"It’s very important that we get as many test done as possible," said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley on Monday morning at the test site located near the Fort Worth Medical District.
The website and testing site part of a pilot project that is a partnership between the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, the city of Fort Worth and UT Southwestern Medical Center.
"We are very pleased to have this resource in Tarrant County during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Director of Public Health Vinny Taneja. "The platform will not only help our testing facilities operate more effectively, it will also arm us with valuable information to keep our communities safe."
"A lot of my rotations were canceled, so I felt like this was a good use of my time to still help out my community," said Kristina Faser, a third-year medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
“While it’s discouraging that we are having these consistent numbers, I'm glad that we’re here for a purpose to report the accurate information to the public and make sure we really know what we’re dealing with right now," Fraser explained.
She and other medical students have put in more than 2,000 volunteer hours. Before the drive-through became public, it was only open to first responders and essential workers.
“I don’t think this is the last time we’re going to see this in our generation, so it’s important for us as medical students to learn how to set this up," said Olivia Tomasco, a second-year medical student at TCOM.
"We’ve gone through a very, very strenuous teaching process, learning process and practice process so that we’re as safe as possible for our students," explained Dr. Mark Chassay, Senior Vice Provost and Chief Clinical Officer at UNT Health Science Center. “Our core staff has been unbelievable, but the number of students and their ability to volunteer while they’re on other rotations it’s just been unbelievable and very touching to me.”
The county expects more sites and appointment availability to be added over the next several weeks. Appointments this week will be limited, according to the Tarrant County officials.
"As we begin planning for reopening, it is vitally important that we have more testing," Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said. "These testing sites are going to be critical in helping us open up the county."
Over the weekend Tarrant County saw an increase in cases.
“I think that has to do with more testing for one thing, I think it has to do more with we have a couple long term care facilities and we have a prison, and there seems to be a real spike in cases at those type of facilities," Whitley explained.
He said he believes there will be an increase in confirmed cases because of the added testing.
Screening will be available in English and Spanish. For other languages, residents are asked to call Tarrant County Public Health at 817-248-6299.