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In response to a growing number of coronavirus cases, Fort Bend County officials recently opted to increase testing capacity in the region.

Last Friday, county officials announced the opening of the area’s first COVID-19 testing mega site at Brazos River Park, 18427 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land. The opening comes about two weeks after County Judge KP George raised the county’s COVID-19 threat level to orange, which indicates “moderate/high risk.”

Dr. Jacquelyn Minter with Fort Bend Health and Human Services said confirmed positive cases have increased more than 500 percent over the last three weeks, and there were more than 106,000 positive cases in the county as of Friday.

“It does look to be milder, especially in those who are vaccinated," she said. "With so many people infected, it’s clear in regards to the profound effect on our healthcare system and to our infrastructure. …We want (everyone) to have more opportunities to test, isolate if they need to, and minimize the transmission in our community.”

More than 80 percent of recent cases can be attributed to the omicron variant according to George, who said the rapid increase triggered the need for more testing.

“We did this because there is a surge of the omicron (variant) in Fort Bend County, in this region, and in our country, and there has been a surge in the need for testing,” he said Friday. “We worked tirelessly with our community partners and health providers to ensure that the county is well-prepared to meet the needs of handling the impact of COVID-19.”

The site will have the ability to provide north of 1,500 tests per day according to Davaco CEO/President Jordan Handel, who partnered with the county and city of Sugar Land on the drive-through site.

The site offers testing free of charge to residents, and insurance is not required. Residents are encouraged to register for an appointment at mycovidappointment.com or by calling 281-633-7795.

Additional Fort Bend County Health and Human Services COVID-19 testing locations times and hours can also be found at fortbendcountytx.gov.

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