Printable versions of News Release – News Release – Aransas County Coronavirus Testing 200424
|For Immediate Release
April 24, 2020
|Contact: Deanna Spruce, LTR PIO
Phone: (361) 790-9496
CORONAVIRUS MOBILE TESTING SITE WELL RECEIVED
ROCKPORT, TX – Approximately 140 residents of Aransas County, Rockport and Fulton were able to get free coronavirus tests through a mobile drive-in program established by Governor Abbott and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. Aransas County was included in the initial roll-out, which was designed to help underserved counties within the state.
The announcement of the testing on April 23rd and 24th, which was held in the portico of the new Fulton Convention Center, was made Wednesday afternoon. Within minutes, the phone lines were jammed with callers seeking to get more information and to register for the event.
Initially, the plan was to provide testing from 9 am – 5 pm, which would accommodate 50 tests per day. Based on the response, the testing was extended later Thursday and from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm on Friday. The estimate of 140 is based on 63 tests done on Thursday and an additional 80 registered for Friday.
“We have been very limited as to what we could do to ensure the safety of our residents,” noted Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills, “The Stay at Home Order was a big step, but we had no testing facilities or way of knowing exactly what the infection situation was in our community other than the two cases that were reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TxDSHS).”
“From the beginning, Judge Mills, Mayor Rios and I have been very vocal about the need for testing in our community – probably to the point where some of our State leaders were getting tired of hearing from us,” stated Fulton Mayor Jimmy Kendrick. “But, we always knew they were listening.”
Results from the tests will take between 5 – 7 days and be reported directly to TxDSHS. If there are any positive cases, contact and care will be coordinated by the Department and regional health district. The County will only receive notification as to how many positive cases, age/gender of the individual, and, if confirmed, the means of infection, i.e. family member, traveling, community spread, etc.
“We were very pleased to be one of the initial counties in this aggressive testing program,” Rockport Mayor Pat Rios added. “While it may be limited in scope, it will provide us with some understanding of what is really happening in our community and help us as we move forward.”
In addition to TxDSHS, other agencies involved in the program include the National Guard, Texas Department of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension