UTEP’s drive thru COVID-19 testing site is helping the city detect cases

Noelia Gonzalez, Multimedia Reporter

The spread of COVID-19 in El Paso has continued to rise, with the current number of active cases topping over 23,000 as of FridayNov. 6. In order to keep up with the infection rate, UTEP and the city of El Paso have partnered to help the community get tested for COVID-19. 

“Testing is free to the public. All you have to do is come with your ID, identify yourself and take the test,” said Edgar Lopez, regional director of El Paso testing sites. 

UTEP began hosting a drive thru testing site on Oct. 21, located at its Schuster 1 parking lot at Schuster Ave. and the Spur 1966 roundabout. Testing is open to the general public Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“There is an increase in individuals coming but that’s what we want them to do,” Lopez said. We want individuals in Texas in El Paso to come and get tested. 

Lopez explained regular testing is key in preventing the spread of the virus, as it can help an individual determine whether they should isolate themselves to not infect people.   

“This is one way we can fight the virus; by people realizing if they have it or don’t have it, and if they do have it, to isolate themselves, Lopez said.  

UTEP also negotiated a separate drive thru testing site for UTEP employees, students and their family members at the Schuster 3 parking lot, which opened Oct27. This line is only available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Individuals must show their minor gold card for access. 

“For the most part, it was pretty safe. They somewhat disinfected the cars and they made us put the windows up just as a precautionary measure,” UTEP student, Iliana Dominguez, said. 

According to UTEP officials, the purpose of the designated UTEP line is to provide a faster line than the general public to students, faculty, staff and their family members. 

“It was actually pretty fast compared to the first time I did it,” Dominguez said. “It took me 30 minutes or an hour at the most.” 

Noelia Gonzalez may be reached at [email protected]@OfficialNoeliaG on Twitter.