Killeen Offers Free Tests as Austin Goes to Stage 5 COVID Recommendations
Things are frustrating for everyone trying to get back on track for the new year. It feels like 2020 on repeat: shutdowns, shortages, and staffing issues are rampant throughout Central Texas.
Part of the reason Southwest Airlines canceled nearly 20 percent of their flights today was due to weather, but COVID-related sick calls are a large part of the issue.
According to our news partner KWTX, COVID cases continue to rise in Central Texas. Currently, over 400 new cases in Bell County and 600 in McLennan County have been reported.
Testing Sites Are Overwhelmed
Lines are long for those trying to get tested and vaccinated. In Killeen, the wait can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for tests. One woman in Waco says it took her 6 hours to get tested at Richland Mall earlier this week.
Meanwhile, with the ongoing surge of COVID-19 and the spread of the omicron variant, KVUE is reporting that the city of Austin has been moved to Stage 5, which is the strictest set of recommendations under coronavirus guidelines.
Stage 5 means if you’re vaccinated and have a booster, you still need to mask up in public. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you should avoid both gatherings with others and traveling.
What About Children?
The CDC now recommends Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster for children 12 and older, and reduced wait time on a booster to five months. As of right now, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one authorized for this age group.
Where Can I Get Tested in Killeen?
The City of Killeen is partnering with KISD and Texas Military Department to provide free rapid COVID19 testing and vaccines over the next two weeks at two COVID Services sites.
Testing and vaccines will be available Friday, January 7th, and January 10th - 14th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. inside the former Nolan Middle School at 505 E Jasper Road. Testing only will be available January 10th - 13th at the Killeen Special Events Center at 3301 S. WS Young Drive.
Prepare for a wait when going to get tested, remember to be patient, and continue to stay safe!
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