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Federal government to continue support for coronavirus testing sites in Dallas

The federal government will also be increasing resources for both the Dallas and Houston communities after a surge in COVID-19 cases
Credit: AP
Persons observe social distancing as they wait in line at a walk up COVID-19 test site in front of American Airlines Center in Dallas, Thursday, June 11, 2020. The walk ups have extended their hours of operation this week, with officials urging anyone who has participated in large gatherings of any sort, to be tested for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the federal government will continue support for community-based coronavirus testing sites across Texas, including increasing resources for Dallas.

Texas is currently experiencing a rise in record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The infection rate has doubled within the last month.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn sent Health and Human Services and FEMA urging them to continue federal support for sites in Texas saying.

The funding for the testing was set to expire June 30. 

RELATED: Texas hit 50,000 COVID-19 cases in 76 days. Since then, the infection rate has more than doubled 

“Now is not the time to end federal support of a program that is working and successfully increasing testing capacity—especially for underserved communities in the state," they wrote.

There are currently two drive-thru testing sites in Dallas County -- at the American Airlines Center and the Ellis Davis Field House. 

The testing site at the AAC will be closed at the end of the month. The Ellis Davis Field House will double its testing to 1,000 tests a day beginning July 1, according to city officials. 

A new testing site, which will be funded by the City of Dallas and Dallas County, will open July 1 at the University of Dallas. 

There be 500 tests a day conducted there on Monday through Saturday each week. 

"I am heartened and relieved by this news. Federal testing support has been critical to our response to this pandemic," said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson in a written statement.  

Abbott said testing sites are a vital component of the state’s commitment to support the needs of communities.

“I thank our partners for extending these operations in Texas, and for their flexibility in allocating their resources to the communities of Dallas and Houston that are experiencing a high number of COVID-19 cases right now,” the governor said.

Abbott is also scaling back reopening plans. He issued an executive order that required bars and similar establishments to close at noon Friday, and restaurants to reduce dine-in capacity to 50%.

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