Breaking News
More () »

During COVID surge, a Fort Worth church is helping by offering testing and more face masks

There's little to no waiting at a North Texas church for people wanting to know if they have contracted COVID-19.

FORT WORTH, Texas — There's little to no waiting at a North Texas church for people wanting to know if they have contracted COVID-19. Within minutes, Claudia Valdez and her 7-year-old son, Ayden, completed testing after showing COVID symptoms.

"He's had diarrhea, and I had a headache and was throwing up and feel really weak right now," said Claudia Valdez. "There's no line you go in and out."

The testing site is set up in the church's front foyer. It's where Pastor Kyev Tatum believes the heavens have smiled down on Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church to help people get through the pandemic.

Right now, more testing is just what North Texas needs as the number of positive cases skyrocket. Tarrant County alone has seen a significant number of positive cases which has impacted the workforce, schools and even service organizations like bus drivers.

The statewide increase in COVID-19 cases involving the omicron variant has state health officials looking at ways to slow down the infection rate.

That's the same goal for Pastor Tatum. He's been exploring ways to continue the distribution of his huge inventory of personal protective equipment to more church leaders. 

Monday afternoon, Pastor Greg Franklin, Senior, drove from Dallas to pick up PPE supplies. Franklin pastors Bible Believers Missionary Baptist Church. He will share masks, gloves, wipe and hand sanitizers with members of his congregation.

Around the same time Monday afternoon, the Texas Division of Emergency Management reached out to Pastor Tatum by telephone. Tatum learned he will also receive 6,000 N95 Masks to share with local churches. The N95 Masks are scheduled for delivery to the church this week. 

Tatum hopes to start distribution right away to help people have more protection against omicron.

"They are saying with this omicron variant the cloth masks are not doing well," said Pastor Tatum.

The extra protection comes as state health officials offer testing options to people online, showing testing sites and drive‑thru locations along with self-test kits.

Some COVID-19 testing sites like the Fort Worth drive-thru site at I-35 and Baker Street are busy with non-stop traffic most of the day. The COVID-19 tests are free, administered on the spot, or people can obtain a self-test kit to take with them.

Either way, church volunteers like Arletha Franklin encourage everyone who wants a test not to delay learning their health status. She is a retired anesthesiologist who has dedicated her time to helping anyone who walks in the door at New Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church.

"We are set up from 10 to 3 but certainly if someone comes after that time we are here," said Arletha Franklin.

Volunteers at Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist are set up for COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located at 2864 Mississippi Avenue in Fort Worth.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 can also schedule an appointment for the limited number of monoclonal infusion treatments available at the church.

Before You Leave, Check This Out