Tensions run high as drivers wait hours to get tested at Houston's first COVID-19 drive-thru

So far there are more than 260 Coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Texas with roughly 60 people confirmed reports in the Houston area.

On Thursday, drive-thru COVID-19 testing started in north Houston at a location off of West Tidwell. Some drivers waited in line for more than five hours to get tested.

Tensions were high while drivers waited in line. At the scene, we witnessed a tense argument after one motorist tried cutting in line.

According to officials, they hope to test roughly 2,000 people this week for COVID-19 at the location of West Tidwell. All patients are screened before medical workers determine if they should be tested. It takes about 10 minutes for one car to go through screening and testing.


While some people in line say they have symptoms, others just want to play it safe. We asked one woman in line why she wanted to get tested for COVID-19.

“I want to make sure that I don’t have it,” said the woman in line.

Staff members from United Memorial Medical Center can be seen wearing their protective gear at the testing facility. Officials hope to have increased testing capabilities next week to prevent community spreading of the sometimes deadly virus.

“The test will take between four and 25 hours to get the results,” said Dr. Joseph Varon from United Memorial Medical Center. “Once we get the results, we will call you.”

“We need to do more because we have to save lives,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. “We hope for the best, but we prepare for the worst.”

City and county leaders hope to have three more additional drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities open soon.

CORONAVIRUS FAQ: Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak