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Fort Bend County's coronavirus testing site now accepts people without symptoms, but you still have to call ahead

A pre-screening for symptoms is not required, but you'll need to schedule a time and date.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — The Fort Bend County testing site for COVID-19, the coronavirus, is now open to all residents with or without symptoms, Judge KP George has announced.

Under the expanded testing policy, residents of Fort Bend can call 281-238-2363 to get an identification code and to schedule date and time. The resident then must bring a photo ID, the code and any other information requested to the appointment to get tested.

The county says it is able to do 200 tests per day. There is no charge.

RELATED: Where you can get tested for coronavirus in the Houston area

“I am pleased that we have found the resources to open our county testing side to everyone who wants to be tested, at no cost to them,” Judge KP George said shortly after the Commissioners Court meeting. “I want to thank all the hard working Fort Bend County and Access Health employees who are working around the clock to make our community safer for families and especially those most vulnerable to this terrible virus. I pray that more testing will help save lives.”

The county's testing site was first launched March 30 with partners AccessHealth and Luminaire. Previously, patients had to be screened to determine if they were symptomatic or in a "high risk" category to get tested at the site.

County officials say so far, the site has tested 854 individuals.

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RELATED: US clears first saliva test to help diagnose COVID-19

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.

Great news if you watch TV with an antenna

KHOU has just upgraded its technology.  If you were unable to receive KHOU with your antenna in the past, try again on channel 11.11.  You may have to rescan your channels for it to work – if that’s the case, we’ve got some instructions at KHOU.com/antenna.  If you already see KHOU on 11.1, you may now ALSO see it on 11.11 – it’s the exact same programming.  We’re really excited to be able to bring our KHOU 11 News, CBS shows and sports, Wheel of Fortune, Ellen and Great Day Houston to more homes around the area.  If you’re still having trouble, please contact us here and we’ll try to get you set up.

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