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Community Labs partnering with Metro Health to increase access to COVID testing

Long lines at testing sites are leveling out as three more sites open this week.

SAN ANTONIO — The demand for COVID-19 testing is on the rise as the omicron variant is rapidly spreading.

The City of San Antonio has partnered with Community Labs to try and meet that demand, opening up six new testing sites across the city.

“When we opened last week, we saw a big surge. I think that was some pent-up demand. People were looking for tests all around town having trouble,” said Sal Webber, Community Labs President.

Webber said the lines have started to level out as they opened another testing site on Wednesday at the Melendrez Community Center.

Webber said the goal of the partnership is to increase access to testing.

“They're looking at overall positivity rate across the county and the city and saying, ‘Okay, this is a hotspot. We need a location here, we need a location there,’” said Webber. “If people need a test, it's in their neighborhood, in their community, and they can come out; they don't have to wait all day.”

Councilwoman Teri Castillo visited the new testing site at the Melendrez Community Center on Wednesday and said her District 5 community has been hit hard by COVID-19.

“We also saw more deaths than any other district,” said Castillo. “What that means is one less income. What that means is being late on rent, or your utilities, and may potentially being at risk of eviction, and/or utility disconnections.”

Castillo said neighborhood testing sites are crucial.

“Our residents -- they're working multiple jobs, taking care of grandchildren, children and don't have the capacity to wait in line for multiple hours, or even 30 to 45 minutes. Having accessibility to access multiple clinics and testing sites gives that flexibility to folks,” said Castillo.

On Tuesday, Bexar County Commissioners approved a partnership with Community Labs to open two additional testing sites at the Wonderland of Americas Mall and in an undetermined location in Converse.

Webber said the two new locations should open in the coming days.

Follow this link for a list of testing sites across the area.

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