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Harris County creates COVID-19 Strike Team to bring testing materials to nursing homes, shelters

The strike team is composed of county epidemiologists, pubic health experts and testing staff

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — *EDITORIAL NOTE: The above video is about Harris County's mandate on face masks.*

Harris County has established a COVID-19 Strike Team that will conduct testing inside nursing homes and other facilities gravely affected by coronavirus.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo made the announcement Monday during a press conference where she not only discussed this new tasting capability but other ways the county has decided to combat this pandemic

The strike team -- composed of county epidemiologists, pubic health experts and testing staff -- will be provided testing equipment they can take outside of fixed testing sites so they can physically walk inside nursing homes, shelters and other areas where people live in close contact to test for the virus.

The effort of this is part of Harris County’s strategy to be aggressive in testing and to try to contain COVID-19 in its track while protecting those most vulnerable.

“The goal isn’t just to save lives, but to also go on offense against this virus and quickly isolate it where we know it has the potential to spread quickly,” Judge Hidalgo said. “The more we’re able to do this, the better we’re able to choke off the virus, stop it in its tracks, and move forward.”

Starting Tuesday, the strike team will go to one nursing home a day to test staff and residents for coronavirus. Upon their arrival, the team will work with the facilities to do site assessments, issues control orders -- if necessary, and make recommendations.

Hidalgo said she has been conversating with FEMA for several weeks now to get this testing capability off the ground and this is just the beginning of the county's aggressive measures to make testing more accessible.  

Hidalgo said testing will expand in capacity in the coming days as additional capacity and staff are added. 


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