DALLAS — In a three-hospital collaboration, additional COVID-19 testing locations are now open throughout southern Dallas to reach under-served communities that statistics show are often disproportionately impacted by the virus.
Baylor Scott & White Health, Methodist Health System, and Parkland Hospital each opened additional testing locations on Monday.
Methodist's newest location, in the parking lot of a vacant shopping center across the street from Methodist Charlton Medical Center at Wheatland and Westmoreland, will be available for drive-thru testing starting Tuesday morning.
"Those communities have been pretty hard hit by this virus. And we want to be able to provide the best care that we can," said Methodist Medical Center Charlton president Fran Laukaitis.
"Methodist has been committed to serving the southern sector of Dallas for more than 92 years with two hospitals in the region," says Methodist Health System CEO Jim Scoggin. "We are happy for the opportunity to collaborate with two other quality systems to offer more tests for patients who need them."
People who believe they may need to be tested can call 214-933-8811 for a phone consultation. Methodist says those in need of testing will be given an appointment time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"Once they are determined to be appropriate for screening, they will be registered over the phone," said Laukaitis. "They can be tested, drive up in their car. And if they test positive, then instructions from there to make sure they get the followup care they need."
Baylor Scott & White on Monday opened a similar drive-thru testing location at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center at 4500 Spring Avenue. Those concerned they may have contracted COVID-19 can call 972-817-6259. Patients considered in need of testing would then be sent to the center test site after consultation over the phone.
Parkland is offering testing for their patients at four Community Oriented Primary Care health centers (COPCs): Hatcher Station Health Center, 4600 Scyene Road, Dallas 75210; deHaro-Saldivar Health Center, 1400 N. Westmoreland Road, Dallas 75211; Bluitt-Flowers Health Center, 303 E. Overton Road, 75216; and Southeast Dallas Health Center, 9202 Elam Road, Dallas 75217.
They're open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only for current Parkland patients who meet the medically necessary criteria with a Parkland physician's order.
"Parkland has been on the front lines of Dallas County's fight against COVID-19 since the beginning of the health crisis, managing three large testing sites in North Texas and making ongoing visits to nursing homes and homeless shelters to test at-risk communities," said Fred Cerise, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Parkland Health & Hospital System. "We added testing capability at seven of our Community Oriented Primary Care health centers including four located across south Dallas to provide more convenient access to patients in their own neighborhoods."
Parkland patients can call the COVID-19 patient line at 214-590-8060 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Testing for non-Parkland patients is still available at 9191 S. Polk Street (Ellis Davis Field House) and 2500 Victory Plaza (American Airlines Center) daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until the maximum number of tests is reached.
In addition, Parkland offers drive-through testing for Parkland patients at 4811 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas 75235 parking lot.
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected communities of color. That's why testing is being expanded in these communities.
"It's really hard to tell actual numbers," Laukaitis said of how widespread the virus might be in south Dallas. "Testing is key. And that's why we're so happy to be able to bring it here right in our community. Don't sit home and wonder. Call. Because we're here to help."