Arlington will soon have a COVID-19 testing location, Fire Chief Don Crowson announced during a telephone town hall meeting Thursday.
Crowson said more information on the location will be announced next week.
Lt. Richard Fegan, Arlington Fire Department public information officer, said Tarrant County Public Health will administer the testing.
Arlington Fire Department will coordinate and help facilitate the testing, Fegan said. Tarrant County Public Health will ultimately determine the criteria that decides if individuals need testing or not.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said in a video Thursday that additional COVID-19 testing sites will also be announced next week for the county.
He said the sites are possible through a partnership with Adobe, Tarrant County Public Health, the University of North Texas Health Science Center and UT Southwestern through it’s Moncrief Cancer Institute.
People will go to the sites and fill out a paperwork questionnaire through Adobe software, Whitley said. They will then go through a screening process, and if a test is warranted, the individual will be given an appointment time and a location so they can get tested.
“We’re hopeful by the time we get this up and running for a full week, that we’ll be looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 tests per week,” he said.
Whitley said the testing number could grow as more sites are brought on and more tests become available.
Crowson said they have been monitoring hospitals and reported that Arlington’s COVID-19 numbers are relatively low. The social distancing efforts put forth from the city council are working, he said.
“We believe that we're beginning to be set up in a position where we can take the next step, decision-making to move us back towards a path of normalcy,” he said.
Hopefully, over the next few weeks, citizens will hear from the city on a direction into getting back to work, Crowson said.
One citizen asked if Arlington would make it mandatory for people to wear masks when they’re out in public like Dallas County did Thursday.
Dr. Cynthia Simmons, Arlington EMS System medical director, said that wearing masks will help people if they’re going out, but the city isn’t at the point to make it a mandatory task.