WACO, Texas — The number of COVID cases in Central Texas is growing so quickly that the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is now offering free drive-through testing again after it originally closed its testing sites in the spring.
The health district is once again hosting the testing sites weekly, Monday through Saturday. There are 200 tests available each day.
Those tests are traditional, self-administered PCR tests that typically take 48 to 72 hours to receive results.
This comes as the delta variant causes a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state.
"The delta variant kind of changed everything, and suddenly it kind of took its advantage," said Kelly Craine, Public Information Officer for the Health District.
With over 1,200 estimated active cases in the county, the health district knew it was time to give people more options.
"We stopped really in the spring because we were seeing a steady decrease in cases and a rapid rise in vaccinations. That really changed in July," Craine said.
Thursday was the just the first day of testing, but Craine said 115 people came to the testing site. She encourages people to get tested if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.
"If you're feeling symptoms but you don't know what to do, you're thinking well, is it asthma, is it allergies, is it a cold? Go get tested," she said.
The tests are offered Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Waco ISD Stadium, as well as on Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McLennan Community College.
You must register for an appointment on the district's COVID-19 website before getting tested. The district also offers a list of alternative locations to receive a test if you are not able to get one at the community sites.