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Southern Dallas community grateful church is hosting vaccine clinic, COVID testing as demand rises across city

A long line of cars waited outside Friendship-West Baptist Church in southern Dallas, before its COVID-19 testing clinic officially opened at noon on Thursday.

DALLAS — On a chilly Thursday morning, six days into the new year, cars could be seen lining up outside Friendship-West Baptist Church in southern Dallas. 

“We got here about 9:45 or so,” said Delories Gonzales.

More than 200 cars were weaving through the church parking lot and along W. Wheatland Road, all before noon. All of the drivers were waiting for the church-sponsored COVID-19 testing site to open to the public.

“It’s scary, because it’s like all of these people really need the help,” said Gonzales.

The demand for testing was no surprise to church staffers.

Friendship-West’s Chief Strategist Alisha Trusty said the church has been getting dozens of inquiries from the community, especially as Dallas County continues seeing surging positive cases, including the spread of the Omicron variant. 

“Friendship-West has a reputation as being a trusted community partner. So, as our residents on the southside have had a hard time receiving access to appointments to receive rapid testing, they’ve reached out to us,” said Trusty.

Convenient access to testing, like this, is significant for some of the city’s most vulnerable communities.  

Dallas City Councilman Casey Thomas announced another testing location would be opening in Oak Cliff.

“This Tuesday, Thurgood Marshall Rec Center will be a testing site for COVID,” Thomas mentioned during a press conference.

Community partners say the efforts are about providing access to resources.

Friendship-West is also hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for ages five and up Sunday, Jan. 9, from 11 a.m.. to 2:30 p.m. 

With lines expected to continue at COVID-19 testing sites across North Texas, you could always check in with your county health department for information to testing sites and vaccine clinics.

You could also text the word COVID to 214-977-6028 and WFAA will send all of that information to your phone.