Mayor Turner, Houston officials announce opening of new COVID-19 testing site for high-risk populations

HOUSTON – Mayor Turner announced a new Houston COVID-19 testing site Monday that he said will be close to neighborhoods with vulnerable populations considered at high risk for severe illness from the virus.

The United Memorial Medical Center testing site will be located at Barnett Sports Complex, which is at 6800 Fairway.

UMMC is working with the Houston Health Department to target resources where they are most needed.

Mayor Turner was joined by Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, District I Council Member Robert Gallegos, Houston Health Department Director Stephen L. Williams, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Senator Carol Alvarado, Commissioner Adrian Garcia, UMMC representatives, and others.

Mayor Turner some of these health disparities stem from minorities not having enough access to affordable healthcare.

“They’re working every day, hard every day, but they may not be able to afford healthcare,” Turner said. “It’s not cultural, but it is part of the economic and social equities that exist.”

“Poverty is also a factor in all of this,” Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia said.

Congresswoman Jackson-Lee said officials are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 in minorities.

“COVID-19 takes a toll on the minority community, that’s why we’re encouraging them to get tested,” Jackson-Lee said.

Officials are also looking to get mobile units in order to go into communities and test more people.

“We need testing sites all over the city,” Turner said. “…We will provide additional dollars to set up these testing sites.”

Mayor Turner said

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