Four COVID-19 testing sites are available in the Crossroads this week: two in DeWitt County and two in Refugio County.

In DeWitt County, the first site is at the Cuero Municipal Park Pavilion starting at 8 a.m. Thursday. The second site is at the new Yorktown ISD gym also starting at 8 a.m. July 15.

Texas Military Department officers will test the first 500 people who show up. Tests are free for anyone who wants one. No doctor’s note or appointment is required and attendees do not have to be showing symptoms.

Cyndi Smith, DeWitt County’s emergency operations coordinator, said nobody should line up before 7:45 a.m. because gates will not open until then and the county does not want cars to be blocking the roadway.

In Refugio County, the Texas Military Department is operating two mobile testing units, both of which are open to anyone. The first will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at Austwell-Tivoli Elementary School. The second is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the Refugio County Community Center.

Refugio County emergency operations coordinator Sheldon Wiginton said at least 250 tests will be available at each site, and possibly more. He said the sites would provide an opportunity for people in rural areas from Tivoli and Austwell on the east end of the county to Woodsboro and Bayside on the west end to get tested.

“My older folks, they don’t travel well, they’re old farmhands, they just like staying amongst themselves,” Wiginton said. “The best way to do it is just to bring the testing to them.”

Smith and Wiginton said precautions are in place to keep people safe as they wait in line. Wiginton said military personnel will make sure everyone stays spaced out and Smith said nobody will be allowed to get in line without a mask on.

In both counties, the testing sites come at a time when case numbers are rising. DeWitt County has reported 67 positive tests in the past two weeks and Refugio’s caseload has risen from nine to 33.

Smith said people in DeWitt County aren’t being as careful as they were earlier in the pandemic.

“The handshakes have come back. The hugs have come back,” she said. “Our numbers were down when we stayed home. The best way to avoid getting COVID is to stay home. Only be sociable with your household.”

One county resident tested positive after traveling to San Antonio, a COVID-19 hotspot, Smith said, and three residents tested positive after going to a bar in Victoria.

Mark Rosenberg reports on rural community life for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at mrosenberg@vicad.com or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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Reporter

Mark Rosenberg writes about rural community life for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He covers Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, and Refugio counties. Questions or tips? Contact: mrosenberg@vicad.com or call 361-574-1264.

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