Drive-Through COVID testing put on hold for other alternatives

Other methods of COVID testing being used in McLennan County
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - After waiting days for free covid tests in the mail, one Waco resident became fed up with the lack of options that were there for her.

Susan Raines has been trying to locate a free covid testing site since last Thursday, when she learned her husband might’ve come in contact with the virus while at work.

Raines says she called testing sites and the health district multiple times, but nobody could give her a clear answer on what her options were.

“It’s very frustrating trying to find somebody that could tell me something,” said Raines when discussing her attempts to get information on testing.

Ultimately giving up on her search, Raines felt like she was the only one plagued by this problem, saying, “Nobody seemed to care and that really bothered me because I thought ‘I’m not the only one’.”

Waco-McLennan Health District Director, LaShonda Malrey-Horne says the addition of these testing sites is based on current appointment availability and hospitalization numbers.

“We want to make sure we’re not creating an opportunity for us to waste a resource by having the testing site available and not have that many people come through to get tested,” said Director Malrey-Horne.

McLennan county is now classified as a medium risk level and has averaged 130 new reported cases daily since the beginning of July.

Malrey-Horne says with the readily available appointments and free tests available through the post office, there would have to be a much higher demand for the drive through testing sites. She says, if necessary, it won’t take long to assemble the testing sites. “They’ve assured us they can have testing up and running in 1-2 weeks if needed.”

Raines says she doesn’t want to see numbers skyrocket in order to have these testing options.

She thinks implementing the testing sites early can help get ahead of the spread.

According to Raines, “I think it would be very helpful, not just to us but the rest of the population.”

The free testing sites listed on the McLennan County website, located at McLennan Community College and Columbus Ave. Baptist Church are not active at this time.

At this time options for testing include: purchasing test kits at local stores, scheduling an appointment at a drug store or with your healthcare physician, free tests available from the USPS (up to 16 tests per household).

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