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Tarrant County increases COVID-19 testing hours after uptick in demand

Person submitting swab at coronavirus testing facility.
Tony Gutierrez
Associated Press

Starting Wednesday, officials in Tarrant County are extending operations at some testing sites to seven days a week.

Tarrant County continued to see an increase in COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and officials expect case numbers to climb even higher after holiday gatherings over the next week.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja says the department plans to increase testing capacity on Wednesday to keep pace with demand.

“When the demand was really low, we were getting 10, 15 sample requests a day, so we had brought down the vendor locations to one day a week," Taneja said. "They're going back to a seven-day-a-week operation."

Tarrant County reported716 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, and community spread remains high.

“It is time for caution for our community, and it starts with simple things,” Taneja said. “If you feel like you've got a scratchy throat or a seasonal allergy or a cold or anything of that sort, or even the flu, come get a COVID test at any of our testing locations.”

The three testing sites with expanded hours are located at Ben Thanh Market in Arlington, Resource Connection in Fort Worth and the Northeast Annex in Bedford. The locations will be closed for New Years Day this Saturday.

Stephen Love, president and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council, encourages all eligible North Texans to get vaccinated to ease the strain on the region's hospitals.

“I talked to physicians in Tarrant County today, and the majority of patients that they're treating for COVID-19 unvaccinated people,” Love said. “So if you're unvaccinated, please give serious thought and consideration to getting vaccinated and boosted. If we all work together, we can beat COVID.”

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Haya Panjwani is a general assignment reporter for KUT. She also served as a legislative fellow for The Texas Newsroom during the 2021 legislative session.