Dates added to free COVID-19 testing site in Frisco

Dates for a free, drive-thru COVID-19 saliva testing site operating in the parking lot of Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco were recently extended by the state. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Dates for a free, drive-thru COVID-19 saliva testing site operating in the parking lot of Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco were recently extended by the state. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Dates for a free, drive-thru COVID-19 saliva testing site operating in the parking lot of Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco were recently extended by the state. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

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The free saliva tests are available to anyone, regardless of county or city of residence, though pre-registration is required. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
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The drive-thru site offers an observed self-collected test, which means participants are given the testing materials and instructions to collect their own sample. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
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The testing site has the capacity to do as many as 1,000 tests per day, but has been averaging around 800 per day over the last few days. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
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Since beginning operations Aug. 3, the site has completed around 28,000 tests, according to Frisco Fire Battalion Chief Jake Owen. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
With testing rates rising over the past few weeks, the state recently extended the dates for a free, drive-thru COVID-19 saliva testing site operating in the parking lot of Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management will continue funding the testing through Oct. 31. This is the third time the testing has been extended, after it was continued to Sept. 12 and then to Oct. 3. Frisco Fire Battalion Chief Jake Owen said Oct. 8 that the testing may be extended again into November.

“The state has committed that as long as the demand is present, they would like to continue to fund that operation,” said Owen, who represents the city of Frisco at the testing site. “So we're very optimistic that it will be here for an extended period of time.”

Since beginning operations Aug. 3, the site has completed about 28,000 tests, Owen said. The site has the capacity to do as many as 1,000 tests per day, but averaged around 800 per day between Oct. 5-7, he said. That is a more than 128% increase from the 350 tests per day average Owen said the site saw during its first weeks of operation in August.

“The [testing] volume clearly increased in the month of September,” Owen said.


He said that rise could be tied to local school districts returning to offering in-person classes last month, but there is no way to know for certain as the tests are confidential.

“There are a lot of criteria that students need a negative test result in order to return to class in certain scenarios,” Owen said. “We've been working with the school nursing staffs, and they're making families that need testing aware that this resource [is] available.”

The free saliva tests are available to anyone, regardless of county or city of residence, though pre-registration is required. Owen said registration can be done at Texas.curativeinc.com and takes “two to three minutes” to complete.

Owen estimated about 35% of the tests administered at the site last week were to Frisco residents, but he noted residents from around 175 different ZIP codes generally get tested each week.

Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Owen said Mondays and Saturdays have been the busiest days, but the average time on site for vehicles is about 10 minutes.

When the testing site was first announced, Owen said those wishing to be tested should not eat, drink or use mouthwash for 20 minutes before taking the test. The FDA-approved test is an observed self-collected test, which means participants are given the testing materials and instructions to collect their own sample. A video with instructions on the process is available here.

Curative Inc. reports that its test has an 89% accuracy rate. Participants receive results within two to four days, according to a city news release. Owen said Curative has been consistently emailing results to participants in less than 48 hours.

“Even with the increased volume, we're seeing results [sent out] very consistently at or under that 48-hour mark,” Owen said. “They're quoting a longer window, but they're meeting the short side of that window very consistently.”

Dr Pepper Ballpark is located at 7300 RoughRiders Trail, Frisco.
By William C. Wadsack

Editor, Plano

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.