By Nicole Nielsen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – COVID-19 testing demand is up as more and more North Texans are going to get swabbed.

“I just got tested for COVID, for the safety of my family and others because I have symptoms already,” said Fort Worth resident Maria Castro as she prepared to get a nasal test today.

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A brand new testing site opened Thursday morning in Fort Worth, free of charge. It’s operated by the city and Tarrant County Public Health.

It’s one of many the county has begun offering in recent weeks to make sure testing stays accessible.

In Dallas County, the only testing site operated by Dallas County Health and Human Services is at Ellis Davis Field House.

They’re offering vaccines and nasal swabs. Parkland hospital runs the site, and says demand for both, has grown.

“Yesterday was one of those days, like we had when we were first in the pandemic and we had those long lines,” Samia Zia, director of operations and mobile vaccinations for Parkland.

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She says the site was averaging 100 COVID-19 tests a week with a 9% positivity rate, but within the last three weeks, they’re now averaging 2,000 tests a week with 30% being positive.

It’s a concerning trend for Dallas County leaders.

“As more people start developing symptoms, getting tested.. that coincides with the numbers going up, followed by hospitalizations and the. Unfortunately, deaths,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Ellis Davis Field House may be the only testing site currently operated by Dallas County, but it may not be that way for long.

Dr. Huang says as the increase in testing demand grows, they’re monitoring the need for more sites.

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“It all depends on what we as a community do. This is what we’ve been saying… much of this is preventable,” Huang said.

Nicole Nielsen