Houston Health Department

Houston Health Department expanding COVID-19 testing to vulnerable communities


April 27, 2020

HOUSTON — The Houston Health Department is bringing COVID-19 testing to vulnerable communities through new mobile testing and partnerships with community organizations.

“While COVID-19 can affect anyone, we know some groups are more vulnerable to the most serious consequences if they become sick,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We must strategically offer testing in our most vulnerable communities, those that are historically underserved and face socioeconomic hardships that make access to testing more challenging.”

Mobile Testing Unit

On Tuesday, the Houston Health Department will begin offering free COVID-19 testing through its mobile unit at strategic multi-service centers.

People do not need to have symptoms or appointments to be tested. The mobile unit has a daily capacity of 100 tests and is available as a drive-thru or walk-up option.

Mobile testing will occur Tuesdays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until capacity is reached, as follows:

  • April 28 - May 2: Kashmere Multi-Service Center, 4802 Lockwood Dr, Houston, TX 77026
  • May 5 - 9: Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center, 3810 W Fuqua St, Houston, TX 77045
  • May 12 - 16: Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St, Houston, TX 77004

People with questions about mobile testing can call the health department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.

United Memorial Medical Center

United Memorial Medical Center on Monday opened a free COVID-19 drive-through testing site at Barnett Sports Complex in Southeast Houston.

The site does not require people to have symptoms or appointments to be tested. The site has capacity to test approximately 250 people daily and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until daily capacity is reached.

UMMC worked with the Houston Health Department to identify a strategic location for the new testing site and will do the same for future UMMC sites.

People with questions about UMMC testing sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Federally Qualified Health Centers

The Houston Health Department is partnering with four Federally Qualified Health Centers to expand their COVID-19 testing capacity by providing test kits, lab access and equipment.

FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.

Community Based Testing Sites

The Houston Health Department continues operating two free drive-through COVID-19 community-based testing sites. The sites are open to anyone, regardless of symptoms.

People must call 832-393-4220 to receive an access code and instructions on where to go for testing. The two sites each have capacity for 500 tests per day and are open daily until capacity is reached.

Houstonians should visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for the latest local information about COVID-19 and ways to protect their family and community.