“We’ve seen a dramatic decrease since mid-July,” said Porfirio Villarreal from the Houston Health Department. “We were at capacity, 650 tests every day at both [major] sites. We’re now seeing 200.”
Just weeks ago, people would spend hours in line at free testing spots across the city. Some people would even wait overnight to get in line at COVID-19 testing locations.
“There’s more capacity now,” said Villarreal. “We’ve opened more big testing sites. There’s no excuse for not taking advantage.”
HOW AND WHERE: COVID-19 testing in greater Houston area
In a press conference Wednesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urged people to get tested for the Coronavirus.
“Please go and get tested,” said Mayor Turner. “It’s better to know, than not to know. If you haven’t gotten tested in the last 30 days, you need to go get tested. If you’ve never been tested, you need to get tested.”
COVID-19 hospitalization are down in Houston and across Texas since July. In addition, the number of new positive cases per day has also dropped within city limits. According to medical experts, about half of people testing positive for COVID-19 show zero symptoms.
Some people may be interpreting some recent good news as we’re out of the woods, but that’s not correct,” said Villarreal. “We’re still deep in the forest.”
On Facebook, we asked followers why they’re choosing to get tested for COVID-19- or not.
One person responded saying, “Tests aren’t accurate and I have no need to get tested. If I start to show symptoms, of course I will, but no reason to until then.”
A second person commented, “For what? If I’m positive I won’t find out till literally two weeks.”
A third person wrote, “I will as often as need be. No sense in sticking your head in the sand, especially when it’s free.”
Many testing locations remain open without lines throughout Houston. Check locations online, many sites don’t require an appointment or for you to be showing any symptoms.
“We really need to know what the disease is doing in our city,” said Villarreal. “One of our ways to know that is the positivity rate. Making sure people get tested, that way we can contain the disease.”