DALLAS - Federal support for community testing sites in Dallas County is set to end soon.
An extension was granted to keep supporting those sites, but Dallas County and Dallas city leaders say the wait times to get results are just taking too long.
The county and city are taking over a federal testing site to reduce the wait to for results, and Parkland hospital is getting more workers from the federal government.
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Federal help in the form of free testing is set to end in Dallas County.
While the federal government extended support for free testing at walk-up sites and the Ellis Davis Field House, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the long wait times are unacceptable.
“It was a joint decision with the city, Parkland and Dallas County Health and Human Services and the county,” Jenkins said. “We just can’t have a situation where people with insurance and live in the north get there test back in two days and people in the south wait 8-10 days. It does more harm than good.”
Jenkins says the county and city will take over Ellis Davis Field house Wednesday starting with 500 daily tests. The county and city partnered with a private vendor to process those tests. He is ensuring test results will come back within three days.
“When you hire a private lab, you can get a two-day turnaround,” he said. “That’s what we are getting in Irving at the University of Dallas site, and that is what we are getting everywhere else we hire a lab.”
Meanwhile, because of multiple days of 100-degree heat, the county-run testing site at the University of Dallas will change its hours to 7 a.m. and close at 1 p.m.
Hospitals are still struggling with a surge in patients.
Dr. Diana Fite works in Houston and is the president of the Texas Medical Association. Statewide, more than 10,000 COVID patients were in Texas hospitals Monday.
“We certainly will hope this will be the peak of this and it will start to lower as people are more aware and start to socially distance and wear masks,” Dr. Fite said. “We can only pray that things will calm down instead of seeing an uptick from the fourth of July.”
State and federal relief teams are being deployed across the state.
Parkland Hospital in Dallas is getting home of that help, telling FOX 4 it's waiting on additional information about how many people are coming and what they'll be able to do.
Dr. Fite says any help will do.
“We’ve suddenly gotten to the point where hospitals are running out of beds and are having to enter the higher levels to keep the patients taken care of,” she said.