Tarrant County increasing COVID-19 testing, as 1 new death reported

As Tarrant County works to increase its COVID-19 testing, it is piloting a new self-screening website.

The new website, covidtesting.tarrantcounty.com, launched Sunday, April 26.

The first day for testing appointments is Monday. During the first week, slots for the testing site will be very limited. The testing site is in Fort Worth and is in partnership with the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, the City of Fort Worth and the UT Southwestern Medical Center.

If a Tarrant County resident goes through the self-screening process and meets the strict criteria, the online tool will schedule an appointment at the testing site. More testing sites and increased appointment availability are expected to be added in the next several weeks.

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“As we begin planning for reopening, it is vitally important that we have more testing,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “These testing sites are going to be critical in helping us open up the county.”

Screenings will be available in English and Spanish. People who need assistance in other languages can call the Tarrant County Public Health information line at 817-248-6299.

The COVID-19 testing management platform was provided at no cost by a coalition that includes Adobe, Oracle, Splunk, Accenture, Datahouse, NuHarbor Security, Globant, Whyline and others in coordination with the non-profit Alliance for Innovation. The Tarrant County Information Technology Department was also instrumental in launching the site.

“We are very pleased to have this resource in Tarrant County during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Director of Public Health Vinny Taneja.  “The platform will not only help our testing facilities operate more effectively, it will also arm us with valuable information to keep our communities safe.”

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The platform will also:

·         Quickly determine patient eligibility based on CDC criteria

·         Manage test scheduling and capacity

·         Provide secure storage of all private information

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·         Identify patterns and insights in testing data

The new testing comes as Tarrant County Public Health on Sunday, April 26 reported another COVID-19 death, a man in his 70s from Fort Worth. Tarrant County now has 53 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus. 283 people have recovered. The county reported 111 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

“Every death that occurs is regrettable and makes us mindful of the toll this virus is taking in our community,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja.