County Health Department pursing aggressive outreach for COVID-19 testing

Against the backdrop of a fifth COVID-19 fatality, the Hays County Health Department laid out an aggressive bilingual outreach program to the Commissioners Court during its Tuesday meeting.

Clinic Manager Margie Rodriguez ran down the latest numbers on testing for the coronavirus at various sites and noted that the health department staff has hired interns to help handle the increased workload that has accompanied more testing.

The effort is directed at individuals who are either uninsured or underinsured and unable to obtain testing elsewhere.

Rodriguez said flyers in Spanish and English are being handed out at sites where school districts are distributing meals — seven sites in the Hays CISD and three within the San Marcos school district. “We’re going to be putting them in every car that drives up,” she said.

Flyers have also been dropped off at big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target and at CARTS stations, San Marcos Southside Community Center and Cabela’s in Buda, and at Brookshire Brothers and Dollar Tree in Wimberley.

Staff were scheduled to go to Dripping Springs on Wednesday, June 3, she said, “to any store or business that will let us hand them a few.”

Rodriguez said at the current time, staff are not going door to door. “We don’t feel safe enough,” she said. “People are not going to open their doors, especially those who are taking precautionary measures.

“Our passion is to serve and to answer every question that we can,” she said of the health department staff and its dedication. 

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