Coronavirus

Where You Can Get Tested for COVID-19 In The Houston Area

We’ll continue to update this list as we get more information about confirmed testing locations.

Testing for COVID-19 is being conducted at Legacy Community Health clinics across Houston.

For more stories and information about the coronavirus, visit our ongoing coronavirus project, Houston Ready. If you want to tell us about what you’re experiencing in your Houston community — whether that be trying to obtain testing, personal protective equipment, or paid sick leave — we’re here to listen. You can email us at news@houstonpublicmedia.org.

Updated 12:30 p.m. CT: City of Houston and Harris County testing sites are now open to the public. See below for more.

Health professionals and public officials are facing mounting pressure to test communities for COVID-19, as the number of confirmed cases increases and the virus spreads throughout communities across the country.

Although health providers across the country are dealing with a shortage of tests, in part due to a lack of testing swabs, Texas has lagged behind much of the rest of the country when it comes to prevention and containment, according to a recent analysis from WalletHub.

Because of that shortage, people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms may be refused testing, meaning there are likely more people in the community who have the disease than is reflected in the numbers, according to health officials. 

The lack of testing is in part why self-quarantine and social distancing are critical tools to prevent the spread of disease, according to Dr. Dona Murphey, a neurologist and community organizer in Houston. 

“Testing at this point is for a disease that has no vaccine and has no cure,” said Murphey, who started a petition to Governor Greg Abbott to include health professionals in the government response to the crisis. “The purpose it serves for the general public is really to illustrate to them that it’s actually a real problem, that this thing is really widespread.” 

Murphey said measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be a top priority for everyone, especially people exhibiting symptoms, and that healthcare workers should be favored for testing, since they are in direct contact with vulnerable patients on a daily basis and are more likely to be exposed to the virus.

Outside the Legacy Community Health clinic in Montrose Wednesday. Clinic testing for COVID-19 has begun at Legacy clinics across Houston.

Here’s what we know about testing sites in the Houston area. We’ll be updating this list as more information becomes available. 

United Memorial Medical Center has free COVID-19 testing at 510 W. Tidwell Road. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Who can access the tests? 

The testing program will begin by testing only the the highest-risk individuals. Register online for a pre-screening test.

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Legacy Community Health has COVID-19 testing at three of their Houston locations and one Beaumont location. 

  • Legacy Fifth Ward, 3811 Lyons Ave.
  • Legacy Montrose, 1415 California St.
  • Legacy Southwest, 6441 High Star Dr.
  • Legacy Central Beaumont, 450 North 11th St., Beaumont

Who can access the tests?

Legacy has said it will only test those who screen positive for the virus, meaning:

  • Those who are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other respiratory conditions.
  • Only if they are over the age of 65, or have a chronic medical condition. Underlying conditions or those who are immunocompromised can include pregnancy, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, or a transplant recipient.

It is not necessary to call ahead before going to one of the locations. Patients with questions should call a primary care physician or Legacy’s contact center at 832-548-5000. All testing is done on a sliding scale, and the clinics will bill insurance companies for those who are covered, Legacy said.

MD Anderson’s Diagnostic Imaging Clinic in Bellaire has been repurposed to offer COVID-19 testing to current MD Anderson patients and employees only.

Who can access the tests? 

Only MD Anderson patients and employees who meet certain screening requirements, the hospital system said. “Testing is by appointment only and no walk-ins are permitted. Current MD Anderson patients who think they may need testing must call their MD Anderson clinic for further direction. MD Anderson employees must first contact Employee Health.”

My Family Doctor has one drive-thru testing facility, at 6430 Hillcroft Ave., open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Who can access the tests?

“You should not visit our testing center unless your have fever and/or symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g., dry cough),” My Family Doctor said.

Priorities include older adults and people with chronic medical conditions, or who are otherwise in “an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).”

People who have come into contact with a person with a suspected or confirmed case of the illness in the last 14 days, or who have a history of travel in areas identified by the CDC as at-risk countries, are also priorities.

For the latest information on testing, including costs, head to My Family Doctor’s website. This testing site is currently cash only. They advise all patients to bring $150 cash for the test just in case they cannot verify your insurance. 

The clinic says they cannot process more than 120 vehicles per day, so they will stop allowing patients to line up for the drive thru as early as 10 a.m.

Harris County Public Health and the City of Houston are expected to open a total of four testing sites in partnership with FEMA. The City’s first location opened March 20. Two county sites opened over the weekend to test first responders and healthcare workers, and each of those locations can test up to 250 people per day.

The public-private partnership offering the tests includes Texas Medical Center institutions Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann and CHI St Luke’s Health, and HCA Houston Healthcare.

Who can access the tests? 

The City’s first testing site was initially only for first responders and healthcare workers. As of Monday, March 23, the site is open to symptomatic medical professionals, first reponders, people 65 and older, and people of any age with chronic illnesses. 

What you need to know to get tested at a City of Houston site:

  • First, call the Houston Health Department’s COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. 
  • Once you’re screened over the phone, you will receive a unique identification code and instructions on where to go for testing.
  • You must have a unique identification code obtained through the screening process, or else you will not get tested. 

What you need to know to get tested at a Harris County site: 

  • Harris County has launched an online tool to access testing.
  • Once you’re screened online, you will receive a unique identification number and a phone number to call to get the site location.   
  • You must have a unique identification code obtained through the screening process, or else you will not get tested. 

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should contact a doctor, and Harris County residents without access to health care can call the county’s triage line at 713-634-1110 any day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with questions.

Katie Watkins contributed to this report. 

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