Second Houston-led drive-thru coronavirus testing site opens April 1

City- and county-led testing sites have the capacity to test 1,000 people per day collectively. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
City- and county-led testing sites have the capacity to test 1,000 people per day collectively. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

City- and county-led testing sites have the capacity to test 1,000 people per day collectively. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

Houston health officials are opening the city’s second free drive-thru coronavirus testing site April 1.

Both sites can perform 250 tests per day despite a lag in supplies which has prevented the city from quickly ramping up its testing capacity.

Before getting a referral to one of the city-led sites, those seeking testing must answer a prescreening questionnaire by calling 832-393-4220. Once screening is complete, the department will provide a referral.

Houston Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. David Persse said as testing capabilities expand, the city will get a clearer picture of both the extent of the virus's spread and the effects of social distancing efforts. As of March 31, however, he said it is too early to draw strong conclusions from the city's numbers.

"The numbers do continue to rise, but what you're not seeing is the numbers skyrocketing like they are in New York, and we're not hearing from our friends at the hospital system that they are bursting at the seams," he said. "But this is not the time to stop social distancing."


Harris County also operates two drive-thru testing sites with the same testing capacity. Find information about more Houston-area testing sites here.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.