Mobile COVID-19 testing vans coming to Waco

Local News

WACO, Texas – Mobile COVID-19 testing trucks are coming to Waco to provide more surge testing.

In a continued effort to provide free COVID-19 surge testing, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and the Waco-McLennan County Emergency Management have contracted with Aardvark Mobile Health to provide a mobile COVID-19 testing platform.

“It’s easy. There’s a little bit of registration. But you can still just show up,” Waco-McLennan County Public Health District Communication Specialist Kelly Craine said. “We’re trying to get it now, to really throughout the entire county, and get it outside the city of Waco, get it into McGregor, get it into different locations where we can just be more accessible to everybody.”

The small truck can park in a space equivalent to two parking spaces, and can reconfigure once at the testing location to accommodate two testing lines that will allow administering up to 500 tests each day.

This is part of the city’s concerted effort to provide more accessible and free COVID testing.

“We were able to get 40,000 tests, and we’re so excited about that because that is allowing us to offer all this free testing through the month of October, and it’s gonna extend through the month of November,” Craine said. “We are so excited, and hope everyone will take advantage of this.”

With so much free testing available, the number of positive cases in McLennan County will undoubtedly rise. Equally as important as those numbers are the ones following virus-induced hospitalizations.

“Think about hospitalization. Our hospitalizations are averaging anywhere from 40 to 50 cases per day that are in the hospital, not new cases but just consistently, and so that is a concern,” Craine said. “We want people out of the hospital. We don’t want it spread.”

The Public Health District admits the numbers have not spiked since schools re-opened, but has a target number they want to reach before they really say they are slowing the spread of the virus.

“We’re at this, like, 50 [daily positive cases] level, I wanna see us down to ten,” Craine said. “I wanna see us getting down into the single digits, and that’s gonna require a lot of effort from everybody.”

The fully self-contained unit has its own onboard power, onboard air-conditioning, heat, and the ability to provide either positive or negative pressure to keep the clinicians safe while they supervise the free COVID-19 tests.

The tests administered from the mobile testing site will be saliva tests, which require people to not eat, drink or brush their teeth for at least half an hour prior to taking the test.

Testing dates, locations, and pre-registration links can be found at www.covidwaco.com.

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