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Texas National Guard Heads To Permian Basin Hubs To Test For COVID-19

Carlos Morales
Marfa Public Radio
Teams of Texas National Guard Troops and healthcare professionals are heading throughout Texas setting up mobile testing sites, like this one in Alpine.

By Mitch Borden

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise across the Permian Basin, the Texas National Guard is coming to the region to set up two temporary mobile coronavirus testing sites. The effort is part of a larger deployment of 1,200 troops to underserved parts of the state.

Midland and Ector County will each have state testing teams conducting coronavirus screenings this weekend.

Both Midland and Odessa have set up their own testing sites, but the national guard is still continuing its own operation in the area to administer up 150 free tests in each city.

Testing Locations:

Saturday, May 2nd — 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Odessa: Ector County Coliseum, Barn C, 4201 Andrews Hwy, Odessa, TX 79762

Sunday, May 3rd — 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Midland: Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department, 3103 FM 1379, Midland, TX 79706

To get an appointment for a coronavirus assessment on Saturday or Sunday in Ector and Midland County, individuals must call 512-883-2400 or register online.

Each mobile testing site will have 11 staff members dedicated to assessing patients as well at 34 soldiers providing support, according to Governor Gregg Abbott's office.

The Midland site will be located in the unincorporated community of Greenwood in the northeast corner of the county. This area was chosen so nearby communities could have more access to testing according to Midland County's Emergency Management Coordinator, Justin Bunch.

Specifically, “Glasscock County, Reagan County, and Upton County," because, he explained, all of these areas do not have their own mobile testing sites. Having the national guard set up in Greenwood will help residents in those more rural pockets of West Texas have a shorter trip to get tested for the coronavirus.

The announcement that the Governor was sending a team to Odessa this weekend may come as a surprise after local leadership stated they turned down the state's offer. But today, Ector County announced the testing site will be operational by Saturday.

At this time, to receive a test from the state you must be exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Body Aches
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore Throat
  • Nausea/Throwing Up/Dieareaha
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Loss of Taste or Smell
Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.