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Pilot program to offer saliva testing for COVID-19

Posted July 18, 2020 | Last updated July 20, 2020

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Tarrant County residents can sign up to receive a free COVID-19 saliva test as part of a pilot program launching next week through a partnership with the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.

Tests will be administered by appointment only beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 21 at J.P. Elder Middle School, 709 N.W. 21st St. Tests will be limited to 300 per day, initially. Once public health officials assess the program, it may be expanded to offer more tests.

“Readily available testing with timely results plays a critical role in our continued efforts to prioritize public health and keep Fort Worth’s economy open,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “This saliva testing pilot program is a great opportunity to provide accessible testing alternatives to our residents to help slow the spread of COVID-19, while also increasing testing capacity in an area with increased positive cases.”

Online registration for the testing is available at covidtesting.tarrantcounty.com and opens on Sunday, July 19. Residents who do not have access to a computer may call 817-248-6299 to schedule their appointment.

Residents who are being tested should not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum starting 30 minutes before the test. They also must remain in their vehicle for the duration of the test. Face coverings are required when feasible.

Patients should bring a smartphone to the testing site, which will be used to link the testing materials to the patient’s profile. Patients who do not have access to a smartphone can receive assistance from staff onsite.

“We look forward to working with our partner, the City of Fort Worth, in increasing our testing sites for our citizens,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley.

Some goals of the pilot program are to make test results available quickly, to meet equity needs and to increase testing capacity across our community to meet needs and demand.

The testing site’s location in north Fort Worth addresses the need for more COVID-19 testing in the county’s Hispanic communities and specifically in the 76106 ZIP code. Bilingual personnel will be available on-site to assist with language barriers.

“COVID-19 incidence rates are rapidly increasing county-wide. Fort Worth residents are looking to their elected officials to provide resources to combat the spread of this pandemic,” said Councilmember Carlos Flores, District 2. “Launching salvia-based pilot testing in District 2 provides residents in some of the hardest impacted zip codes better access to accurate testing with quick results reporting. My appreciation to our continued partnership with Tarrant County and our health care agencies.”

To learn more about COVID-19 testing options in Fort Worth, visit fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/testing. For Tarrant County testing information, visit tarrantcounty.com/covidtestinfo.

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