Dallas County Commissioners Demand Faster COVID-19 Test Results

Commissioners seek equal results for North and South Dallas Counties

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Dallas County Commissioners Friday demanded equally fast results from publicly-funded coronavirus test results for on all sides of the county.

Commissioner John Wiley Price said he has received complaints from his Southern Dallas County constituents about extremely slow results for testing at the Ellis Davis Field House location on Polk Street south of I-20.

Price said he shared the complaints seeking explanations from county officials.

“I generated dadgum email and I’ve gotten no response,” Price said. “We have been sending people and getting 2 to 3 day turn around if it’s north, but south we’re waiting 8 to 10 days.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he has been trying to solve the problem since May.

“The fault for that falls clearly on the State and Federal government,” Jenkins said.

The Federal Government operates the Ellis Field House location and sends the test samples to an out of state lab for results.

“They have gotten so bad now, it is almost detrimental for us to have a site open according to the doctors,” Jenkins said. “The test is almost useless because you’re already well on your way to whatever your course is by the time you get your result back.”

At one point the Federal Government said the southern Dallas site would be closed, but then at the last minute, it stayed open.

“It’s really a double edge sword if they keep it going and then they are using these tests that are not a rapid turnaround,” Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang said.

The county officials have been trying to take over the processing of tests from the southern Dallas site, to be conducted instead at local labs. Commissioners wanted answers about cost and capabilities.

“We just need a map of the thing so we know how the animal works. It’s really just a black box right now,” Commissioner J.J. Koch said.

Dallas County used $10 million from its allotment of federal coronavirus relief money to open the testing site at the University of Dallas in Irving.  That site provides results in two or three days from local labs.

“That creates an unequal system and I do not want to be a part, so please provide the information that has been asked for by every member of this court,” Commissioner Theresa Daniel said.

Dallas County Administrator Darryl said he will come up with a fair plan for fast results.

“I understand this is critical. Lives are at stake here. So, we’ll work on something over the weekend,” Martin said.

With funding from various sources, Dr. Huang said more than 2,000 tests a day are currently being offered in Dallas County.

-Ellis Davis Field House     1,000/day

-University of Dallas            500/day

-Red Bird Walk up                250/day

-Inspired Vision Church       250/day

-Sam Talsby Middle School  250/day

Residents can also obtain tests covered by insurance from private doctors and clinics.

Dallas County reported 1,164 new positive coronavirus cases Friday, July 10. It is the county's 8th straight day of more than 1,000 cases.

The total is 31,525 coronavirus cases in Dallas County so far in the pandemic. Nine new deaths were reported Friday for a total of 445. 

Dr. Huang said with the current rise in hospitalization he expects the number of coronavirus deaths to increase in the near future.

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