Houston's newest Covid testing 'megasite' is located in an abandoned Dave & Buster's

The site is one of two new large-capacity testing centers opening Thursday in Houston as COVID cases spike.

Photo of Jay R. Jordan
The former site of Dave & Buster's at 6010 Richmond Ave. will be Houston's newest COVID testing megasite. 

The former site of Dave & Buster's at 6010 Richmond Ave. will be Houston's newest COVID testing megasite. 

Mark Davis

The Houston Health Department will soon open a giant COVID-19 testing center at the site of a former Dave & Buster's near the Galleria, the latest addition of COVID headlines reminiscent of a pre-apocalyptic tragicomedy. 

Workers at the site, located at 6010 Richmond Ave., will administer tests from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, according to the health department. The site opens for the first time Thursday morning. A second new testing site in the Kingwood Community Center at 4102 Rustic Woods Dr. also opens Thursday with the same hours. The sites are expected to remain open until at least the end of January. 

The new sites add a combined capacity of 1,800 tests per day, which puts the city's total testing capacity near 30,000 tests per day across four megasites and several smaller neighborhood sites. 

"Every Houstonian deserves to have access to testing, especially those in our most vulnerable communities," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement Wednesday. "As we continue to navigate this crisis, I ask Houstonians to keep each other safe by getting tested, vaccinated, and boosted." 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state and Houston region. Across Harris County, authorities tallied 4,100 new cases Tuesday alone, according to data published by the Houston Chronicle (Chron and the Houston Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of one another). That spike has prompted Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to potentially raise the county's COVID threat level to its highest, Threat Level 1. 

Hospitalizations also continue to rise. As of Tuesday, there were more than 2,200 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Houston medical centers — up from fewer than 500 in November, according to the Chronicle's data. Houston hospitalizations accounted for approximately 28 percent of the 8,219 COVID hospitalizations reported statewide by Texas officials Tuesday.

"The bad news is that cases are through the roof," Hidalgo said in the Chronicle. "The good news is that hospitalizations are rising, but not as much as they had in previous waves relative to cases."

Appointments aren't necessary but can be scheduled by visiting this city of Houston website hosted by the city's Emergency Operations Center. For those in the county, appointments can be scheduled through Harris County Public Health

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