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Hundreds show up for free COVID-19 testing at Consulate of Mexico in Houston

Lines were stretched out for blocks with people from all different nationalities waiting to get one of the 1,000 free tests administered,

HOUSTON — Hundreds of people showed up to the Consulate of Mexico Sunday morning in cars and on foot to get tested for coronavirus.

Lines were stretched out for blocks with people from all different nationalities waiting to get one of the 1,000 free tests administered at the consulate located at 4506 Caroline Street.

Consul General of Mexico Alicia Kerber-Palma said she was happy to provide this additional testing site specifically for those who are undocumented and won't go to other city and county-wide sites out of fear their information would be shared. 

“We are very happy to have this response from the people,” Kerber-Palma said.

This site, in particular, did not ask for any background information, just a photo ID. 

“We are concerned about the COVID situation, and we are more concerned to know that many members of the Hispanic community don’t want to go to a health institution because they are afraid that their information is going to be shared with other authorities,” she said.

RELATED: List: Which counties and cities in the Houston area require face masks and which don't

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Kerber-Palma said her main goal was to reach the most vulnerable community.

The Consulate of Mexico has done COVID-19 testing in the past. 

A United Memorial Medical Center employee said the first drive-thru testing site they conducted resulted in a 13 percent positivity rate with 47 percent of those tested being asymptomatic individuals.

“We have tested over 83,000 people. Our positivity rate is around 13 percent, but that’s not the concerning part. The concerning part if that, out of those who are positive, 47 percent are asymptomatic. That means I don’t know who of you gentlemen and ladies are positive,” Dr. Joseph Varon, UMMC medical director said.

Officials continue to stress the importance of widespread testing in order to better gauge community spread.

Although they realize increased demand is beginning to overwhelm many testing sites. Like this site where scheduled test slots maxed out by mid-morning last Friday.

“The lines are long, people are recognizing the importance of testing,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said while visiting the test site. “It is better to know than not to know because, once you know, then we can contact-trace, isolate, quarantine and treat.”

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