Short supply forces Central Texas COVID testing site to close

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) -Getting a COVID vaccine is proving easier than getting tested for the virus, especially if you’re seeking quick results.

A drive thru testing site in Temple announced this week they are shutting down.

“We had a test site in Wilson park and unfortunately had an issue with supply,” Temple Fire & Rescue Fire & Emergency Management Specialist Jennifer Henager said.

The test provider had such a demand across the state they ran out and left Temple high and dry.

“That’s been really hard to have to turn people away that we don’t have a resource available to them,” Henager said.

Henager says people have told her they are in need of free, rapid tests for school, events, travel, or simply to make sure they aren’t spreading the virus, but that’s becoming more difficult to find.

“Either the appointment is three weeks from now or the other issue is a financial charge,” Henager said.

“If you don’t have insurance, there could be a cost associated with those retail pharmacies.”

Waco Mayor Dillon Meek made a post Thursday saying rapid tests are not going to be offered through the health district unless in “extreme cases”. Only PCR tests will be offered.

“PCR test takes two to three days,” Henager said.

“That can be a little bit of a challenge if people are looking for an immediate answer.”

The shortage of testing comes at a time when COVID cases and deaths continue to rise.

Bell County reported on 9/16 having 1,766 active cases. Friday, the county is reporting 1,919 active cases. McLennan updated their case count with with 1,797 active cases as of Friday.

Mayor Meek said Waco Mortuary is at capacity with 15 bodies being stored in the FEMA trailer.

Henager says while it may not be free, the kits found in stores are a great alternative to a testing site or you can go through your provider or pharmacies to be tested.

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