While the omicron variant continues to lead to record case numbers in North Texas, the capacity for COVID-19 testing also continues to climb to try and meet the demand.
You cannot worship in-person at Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas but still the congregation comes, car after car, into the parking lot on West Wheatland Road.
Senior Pastor Frederick Haynes said the line for vaccines Sunday reflects what he saw earlier this week when its parking lots provided COVID-19 testing, too.
“Testing hopefully inspires vaccinations,” Haynes said. “When I get tested I’m looking out, not just for me, but for others I may come in contact with.”
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And right now, a lot of us in North Texas are either testing or looking for a place to do so –
The Biden administration has said 500-million at-home tests will be shipped out later this month, in the meantime, long lines for drive-thru testing have become commonplace over the last two to three weeks.
Jonathan Cormack-Boyesuk with Neighborhood Medical Center in Far North Dallas says dozens of vehicles line up before he opens in the morning but slowly he is detecting a change in testing demand as counties open more testing sites.
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“We have noticed though a little bit towards the end of the day, it starts dying off a little bit more,” Cormack-Boyesuk said.
And more help with testing demand is on the way.
Dallas County HHS is opening four additional locations, two of them starting Monday at Dallas College North Lake campus and Trinity View Park, both located in Irving.
The Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center in Dallas will start testing on Tuesday and Lot 13 at Fair Park, already a site for vaccinations, will start testing on Wednesday.
Friendship West said it plans to start offering drive-thru testing three days a week, as soon as later this week. Haynes says the goal is to be able to meet the demand for testing and vaccinations in southern Dallas County and limit the impact of the omicron variant in North Texas.
“The sooner we get a grip on this virus, the sooner we can congregate in settings like church,” Haynes said.