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FEMA opens drive-thru COVID testing site in Arlington near Choctaw Stadium

Arlington's new FEMA site is geared up to test at least 1,000 people per day, officials said. It's one of six new sites FEMA is opening in Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas — A new FEMA drive-thru COVID-19 testing site near Choctaw Stadium in Arlington opened for the first time, Wednesday.

The Arlington testing site is among six new FEMA sites in Texas. A spokesperson for FEMA told WFAA new FEMA COVID testing sites are opening in the following counties: 

  • Bexar
  • Cameron
  • Dallas
  • Harris
  • Hidalgo, and 
  • Tarrant

It comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called on the federal government to provide more testing amid the Omicron surge.

Wednesday, the site near Choctaw Stadium had a slow start, but it grew busier as the day went on.

The site is a collaboration between FEMA, the State of Texas, Tarrant County and the City of Arlington. Tarrant County Commissioner Devan Allen said the testing site is meeting the needs of her constituents.

“I think what people are interested in is just wanting to know their COVID status as soon as possible in order to navigate their daily lives,” Allen said. 

The site, which is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. is free for people of all ages, and insurance information is not required. Officials said the site is prepared to test at least 1,000 people per day, and it will give them results within 24-36 hours. The test is a self-collected shallow nasal swab test with the guidance of on-site staff.

It will remain open over the next several weeks until Feb. 8.

Irish Hancock, the Arlington Department of Emergency Management administrator, said several factors went into selecting the testing site’s location.

“It took several partners geographically looking at Tarrant County where there are sites and an avenue where so many people can get to that location for the testing site,” Hancock said.

Tina Hardeman, a resident of Fort Worth, drove to Arlington’s new FEMA site for a test.

“I don’t feel well, and I’m a pretty healthy person,” Hardeman said.

It’s just one example of how more testing is becoming available.

On Tuesday, the federal government launched a website to order free at-home rapid test kits. Those tests will ship within a week or two of ordering, according to the White House.

Allen said after three weeks, officials will reevaluate the use of the site to determine if it’s needed for longer.

Pre-registration for the site is not required, but it’s encouraged in order to reduce wait times. On-site registration is available. To register, visit: ineedacovid19test.com and then select Texas and then Choctaw Stadium, Parking Lot M, 1205 Pennant Drive, Arlington.