ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — Ector County Commissioners Court is planning on opening a drive-thru testing center at the Ector County Coliseum. They hope to have the testing center open within a month.
Ector County Judge, Debi Hays, tells NewsWest 9 that once non-essential and essential businesses open back up in and around Odessa they are worried they will see a spike in positive COVID-19 cases.
So the more testing they can prepare for now, the better off the community will be down the road.
A drive-thru testing center is something that has been in the works for a while now. County leaders have been collaborating with other leaders to get this up and running.
“We are wanting to partner with UTPB, Texas Tech, ECISD and the city to be able to try and open up the facility," Hays said. "We've been working on these plans for a couple of weeks and decided our first location would be the coliseum.”
The location will be manned by paramedics who will be collecting the viral sample swabs.
At a separate site, UT Permian Basin nursing students along with ECISD nurses will help trace where exactly those positive COVID-19 cases have been in the community.
“It will kind of mirror what the health department is already doing," Hays said.
"A second group of people doing testing and then the tracing."
The drive-thru testing site will be an appointment-only service. Commissioners are still working through other details.
“When you’re tested you’re given an I.D. number that follows your test, just like at a hospital or if you were to get blood work done," Hays said. "The swab will be sent to a lab.”
The county says funding for the drive-thru testing site will be made possible at first by private donors.
Odessan John Bushman has already donated $25,000 to help with the county’s testing efforts.
If private donations are not enough, they will have to make a plan B.
“I think that's something that as taxing entities we’re gonna have to get together and decide how exactly were going to be able to continue the process,” Hays said.
The judge hopes with more testing, the sooner the community will be able to get back to normal, a new normal that is.
“Different individuals in our community are embracing a drive-thru testing center for mass testing," Hays said. "They want to get back to life, they want to get back to a normal and this will help.”
Details on how exactly people will be able to make an appointment at the drive-thru testing center are still up in the air.
But the judge says the drive-thru site should be up and running within a month.
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