DALLAS and FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – New COVID-19 testing sites have been opening up in North Texas for people who were part of the large demonstrations in the area protesting the death of George Floyd the past couple of weeks.
After marching through city streets shoulder to shoulder, people walked up to a COVID-19 testing site in Dallas Wednesday set up just for them.
There were no requirements regarding symptoms or other exposure. Just being out in the crowds was classified as enough of a high risk.
“All of those group gatherings do give us concern, because it tends to cause issues,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja.
In Tarrant County, testing websites were also being changed this week to ask people if they had been part of large gatherings recently, not just protests.
That would be enough to qualify to get an appointment for a test.
The expanded testing for protesters comes as the percentage of COVID-19 patients in hospital beds is the highest it’s been since May 24 in Tarrant County.
The percentage of people with symptoms going to emergency rooms is also at its highest rate since that date.
“This could be just a little blip on the radar, but everybody’s watching very intently,” said Taneja.
He said exposures weren’t limited to the demonstrations.
“We’re going to open that up to large gatherings. That would include warehouse parties, and Mother’s Day celebrations, things like that that happened in our community,” he said.
The CDC has suggested anyone who has been to a protest should consider being tested for COVID-19 within a few days.
And although the gatherings in North Texas aren’t as large as they were last week, people are still going to them.