The Tarrant County Public Health Department announced that as of April 26, residents can navigate to covidtesting.tarrantcounty.com for virtual COVID-19 screening. The first tests began April 27. Those who meet certain criteria will be automatically scheduled for an appointment at a Fort Worth-based testing site.
“As we begin planning for reopening, it is vitally important that we have more testing,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said in a news release. “These testing sites are going to be critical in helping us open up the county.”
The county health department plans to gradually ramp up testing capacity over the next few weeks, spokesperson Richard Hill said. The county's testing site will be able to field about 30-40 tests per day at the start, he said.
"We have not been able to get that many testing sites in Tarrant County, so the fact that we're now finally getting them is a good thing because people want more tests," he said.
Tarrant County's virtual screening prompts respondents to provide their medical and travel history, whether they are in the health care industry and their contact information. The in-person tests for qualifying respondents' will be via drive-thru. The test includes a deep nose swab for 20 seconds, which the county warned is uncomfortable.
Test results should be available in between four and five days, according to the county.
This service is provided in coordination between Tarrant County University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, the city of Fort Worth and the UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“We are very pleased to have this resource in Tarrant County during the COVID-19 pandemic,” county Director of Public Health Vinny Taneja said in the news release. “The platform will not only help our testing facilities operate more effectively, it will also arm us with valuable information to keep our communities safe.”
The virtual screening is offered in both Spanish and English, and those who need assistance with other languages can call 817-248-6299.
For those seeking testing elsewhere, both the city of Arlington and the Walgreens at 8600 Camp Bowie W. Blvd., Fort Worth, are offering free COVID-19 testing.