TYLER, Texas —
COVID-19 cases are rising across East Texas as more testing becomes available.
Free COVID-19 testing opportunities are being made available to the general public this week in Tyler, Longview and Jacksonville.
Terrence Ates, public information officer for the Northeast Texas Public Health District, says the increase in testing can help track how COVID-19 has spread across the region.
“It's providing us a better overall scope of how COVID-19 has spread in all of our East Texas counties, not just in the larger cities in Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, but also in the rural communities that COVID-19 has started to spread,” Ates said.
COVID-19 cases increased by 159 from June 19 - June 26, the highest jump the county has seen since it the first case was recorded in March.
“Just because there's more testing doesn't mean you're going to have more cases,” Ates said. “The positivity rate has actually fluctuated for a while; it was less than 5%, then earlier this month, it was even over 10%. We've identified people acquiring COVID-19 going to house parties, attending weddings, funerals, going to retail outlets. There has been such a variety in the types of locations where people have said that they have been over the last week or last two weeks."
Persons with or without symptoms can get a free COVID-19 test at any of these free testing locations, and everyone who visits any of these free testing locations must wear a mask upon entry.
“Previously, a month ago, two months ago, for many testing locations, you had to have at least one symptom or more of COVID-19,” Ates said. "If you're a healthy individual, but you think that you may have been around somebody that has been tested positive for the virus, you don't feel sick, but you know, you've been around somebody that does have COVID-19. That's why these tests are being made available to the general public."
Free COVID-19 Testing for the General Public
Anyone in East Texas can come to any of the below COVID-19 testing events. Any non-symptomatic person from any county can come to receive a free COVID-19 test. These walk-in testing events will not require pre-registration but you will need to wear a mask when you enter either of these locations.
Wednesday, July 1 - Thursday July 2
Wednesday July 1
Thursday July 2
Friday July 3
Friday July 3
Sunday July 5
Monday July 6
Tuesday July 7