WACO, Texas – McLennan Community College (MCC) is hosting a free COVID-19 testing event through this Saturday, which is free for anyone to come and step right in line.
MCC Emergency Management Director Frank Patterson sees this as a crucial way of seeing how prevalent the virus is in the community.
“For this type of testing, it allows the community to get tested and come out to be tested,” Patterson said. “It gives us an idea of really how much virus is in the community, because we’re getting a random sample from anybody that wants to show up.”
Unlike some other painful methods, these tests are quick and painless.
“The nasal swab is the one everyone has heard so much about. It goes up into your nasal cavity and it almost tickles your brain, kind of thing. That’s not what this is,” Patterson said. “This is a cheek swab, and so it’s inside the mouth. It’s a lot less intrusive.”
This is the last scheduled event in a series of tests the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has set up over the last month.
In an effort to make sure everyone in the community could get the help they needed, they made sure all the tests were free.
Waco Assistant to the Emergency Coordinator Ryan Dirker expects the city to schedule more testing events.
“In June, our numbers started to climb. And they kept climbing. And they climbed far higher than we were comfortable with,” Dirker said. “In an effort to try and combat that, or at least to develop a better response to it, we wanted to get free testing.”
For those who put on the event Thursday, the test to see if people still cared about COVID-19 in the community already came back positive.
“It shows that people are interested. That they haven’t gotten complacent and said, ‘Hey, you know what? I don’t wanna worry about this anymore,'” Patterson said. “It shows that they’re still interested in the community.”
Testing will continue Friday and Saturday at the Highlands Gym on MCC’s campus from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.