A new Dallas County coronavirus testing site that opened Monday targets the zip code with the highest number of cases in North Texas.
The testing site is at Mountain View College at 4849 West Illinois Avenue, in the 75211 zip code area.
The neighborhood is largely Hispanic with many large families who live in the same homes.
“These families have really been rocked with this illness. It’s been spreading through whole families, whole households,” said Dr. Sharon Davis, Los Barrios Unidos medical director.
Los Barrios Unidos health clinics have several locations in the area, including one right across Illinois Avenue from the college.
“75221 is kind of the perfect storm,” Davis said. “These are working-class folks who are often frontline workers, hospital workers, construction, hospitality industry, all of the folks who have been front-line from the beginning.”
Davis said staying home is difficult for these families.
“These folks do not have the option to work at home. They need to go to work each day to support the family and their jobs do not function remotely,” she said.
Many people took time Monday for a coronavirus test. The line of vehicles with drivers waiting at the site Monday snaked all through the college campus.
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The Texas Division of Emergency Management opened the site for just four hours Monday. It will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Los Barrios Unidos CEO Leonor Marquez Cantu said she expected many of the people who test positive to become her organization’s patients.
“Most of the people who walk through our doors do not have health insurance so they already come from very challenging circumstances,” she said.
Some are reluctant to see a doctor for lack of money and to avoid taking time off from work, so many do not get tested.
“Doing so means not getting paid while you wait five, six days or more for the testing to come back,” Cantu said.
The state promises test results from this new site within two to four days. The experts hope the targeted testing will identify more infected people and persuade them to self-isolate.
Davis said it was important that they also seek prompt medical attention.
“We know that folks who have COVID can have very serious complications and seven to nine days can be very serious complications,” she said.
The Mountain View College testing site has no Dallas or Dallas County residency restriction.