Dallas setting up COVID-19 test sites near AAC, Ellis Davis Field House

The city of Dallas is preparing to open two COVID-19 testing sites outside the American Airlines Center and the Ellis Davis Field House.

Mayor Eric Johnson said the city has been working with its partners to set up tents and prepare for the public. Both locations will open on Saturday at 8 a.m.

"We expect more cases to become known in the days and weeks ahead as testing capacity increases," Johnson said. "Do not be alarmed by the increase in confirmed cases, but take this coronavirus seriously and take proper precautions. COVID-19 is more lethal than the seasonal flu, and taking personal responsibility to help slow the spread will help save lives."

To qualify for a test, people do not have to live in Dallas County. However, people have to be a healthcare worker, first responder or DART driver or be 65 or older, have a fever and have other symptoms of COVID-19.

Parkland Hospital is assisting the county in working these new testing sites.

In total, there are 4,800 tests in Dallas, meaning 2,400 tests at each of the two drive-thru testing locations.

Drive-thru testing centers are designed to mitigate person-to-person contact. While health care workers do get close to patients, keeping people in their cars helps with social distancing.

It is unclear whether the tests can be processed on site or whether they will need to be sent off to a lab to know whether tests are positive or negative.

The City of Dallas is hosting a press conference Saturday as testing begins to answer more questions about the process.

The city has been working with local energy companies to make sure service is not disconnected for residents who miss a payment.

It has established an emergency homeless shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to help with the overflow as permanent shelters space out their beds.

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Mayor Johnson also thanked several businesses for donations to help the community during the coronavirus crisis.

Home Depot plans to donate 15,000 medical masks to the Dallas Police Department. Exelon has pledged $1.5 million to local and national COVID-19 relief efforts.

The Dallas Mavericks Foundation will also donate $500,000 to support child care for health care workers are on the front lines of the coronavirus response at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital.

"I want to thank all Dallas businesses and residents who have helped contribute to our efforts to fight COVID-19," Johnson said. "Everyone has a part to play to flatten the curve of COVID-19's spread, and I am thrilled to see so many people and organizations stepping up to face the challenges ahead."

Coronavirus health tips

While COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus, daily precautions recommended to prevent respiratory illnesses are the same:

•  Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands.

•  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

•  Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve. Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Coronavirus FAQ: Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

•  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

•  Stay home when you are sick and keep children home when they are sick.

•  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

•  Get a flu shot. (Although the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is flu season.)


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