SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Texas Division of Emergency Management will open a COVID-19 testing site tomorrow in an effort to help assuage the strain on local sites around San Antonio.
Shortages of home testing kits and longer-than-expected wait times for lab results have been reported since just after the Christmas holiday over the Omicron surge, which prompted Governor Greg Abbott to ask for federal assistance on December 31.
FEMA announced on January 4 that Bexar County was among six counties in the state to be approved for the federal test site.
The new federal testing site opens tomorrow at the Alamodome in Lot C and will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through February 4.
Officials said the test site will close on January 22, 28, 29 and 30 for previously scheduled events at the Alamodome.
Results from the shallow nasal PCR tests are expected to be returned within 48 hours. Officials said tests done on Sunday will be returned in 72 hours.
Appointments are required and can be made online or via phone at 1-800-635-8611.
The federal test site is opening alongside the city’s mass COVID-19 vaccination site, which is open Wednesdays through Friday from noon to 8 p.m.
Metro Health is holding a pop-up vaccine and test clinic today in conjunction with the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. The pop-up clinic is in lieu of the annual MLK March that was canceled over continued COVID-19 concerns.
“San Antonio is home to one of the largest Martin Luther King Jr. marches in the nation. While the pandemic has prevented us from gathering in person to honor Dr. King’s legacy, our commitment to the community remains,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “Throughout this entire response, we’ve focused on equity – making sure vaccines and testing are where they are most needed. I want to thank the MLK Commission for their tireless work to honor Dr. King, no matter how trying these times are. I encourage any residents, who need to get vaccinated or tested, to join us at this pop-up event.”
The clinic is located at Davis-Scott Family YMCA and will be providing tests and vaccines until 3 p.m. Metro Health said H-E-B $100 gift card incentives are still available.
The City of San Antonio opened eight new test sites around town over the last two weeks that will be open for the forseeable future.
The sites, run by area non-profit Community Labs, have already been overwhelmed.
The organization announced over the weekend that results are being returned within 72 hours — a delay from the promise to deliver results within a day — because of a significantly delayed “delivery of critical chemicals used in the laboratory process.”
The limited supply of these chemicals restricted the testing lab to processing a limited number of samples last week. Community Labs has since received the delivery and said the group has added shifts at the lab in an effort to remedy the delay in results delivery, which they expect to return to a 24-hour turnaround this week.
Here are the locations of the eight Community Labs-run test sites that opened recently in Bexar County:
Anyone who needs assistance with find a test site or to get vaccinated can call 3-1-1.
FEMA to open COVID-19 test site in Bexar County as threat level upped to ‘Severe’