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Dallas’ Mobile Testing Service Saw Low Numbers Over Memorial Day Weekend

David J. Phillip
The Associated Press
Camelia Susanto grabs a test kit out of the box at a newly opened United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 drive-thru testing site Monday, April 27, in Houston.

The City of Dallas’ mobile coronavirus testing service is making house calls, but it saw low numbers over the Memorial Day weekend. 

The mobile service didn’t crack fifteen tests on any day last weekend.

Rocky Vaz, the city’s director of Emergency Management, said 224 tests had been administered between the start of the program on May 15 and the end of Memorial Day. 

Since it started, the city said there have been over 700 requests for testing, but about half have been screened out because the patients didn’t live within city boundaries.

“If our numbers remain low, we will look at options,” Vaz said. “But we don’t want to water down the criteria so much that the people who actually need it [will] not get a chance to get tested and have to then be put on a waiting list.” 

Here's How You Can Get A Testing House Call:

If you’re a city resident with certain COVID-19 symptoms and you don’t have access to a vehicle, you can make an appointment. A mobile testing unit will drop by where you live and give you a test there. Tests are free. 

Residents can visit to start the screening process.

Bret Jaspers is a reporter for KERA. His stories have aired nationally on the BBC, NPR’s newsmagazines, and APM’s Marketplace. He collaborated on the series Cash Flows, which won a 2020 Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Investigative Reporting. He's a member of Actors' Equity, the professional stage actors union.