COVID-19 testing to move to Midway mall in Sherman

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Cars line up for COVID-19 testing at Austin College in this file photo from earlier this fall

As of Monday, the testing site for COVID-19 in Grayson County will shift to the parking lot at the Midway Mall in Sherman. The owner of the mall has volunteered the mall's parking lot for the future of testing for COVID-19 in the county, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers announced Tuesday during the weekly meeting of the county commissioners.

As the number of people that have needed testing has continued to increase, the lines were getting longer at the locations at the Grayson County Health Department in Sherman, Austin College in Sherman and Grayson College in Denison. Magers said the space available at the mall will allow the health care workers working the testing site to offer various lanes of traffic for those seeking the still free test from GoGetTested without impeding traffic on any public street.

While the active case county on Monday only showed 281 cases in Grayson County residents, on Sunday that count was at 529, the highest it has ever been in the county.

As of Tuesday, the county released a report showing that 40,560 tests have been given for the virus in the county since the pandemic began. There had been 4,129 people who tested positive for the virus and 102 people have died COVID-19 related deaths.

On Monday, the 102 new cases were announced. On Saturday, the county had 49 new cases and 472 active cases. On Sunday, the county had 57 new cases and an active case load of 529.

The hours for testing at the mall will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 Charles Pinter, who has owned Midway Mall for the past 13 years, said he was very happy to offer the mall's parking lot for the testing.

In a telephone call Tuesday, Pinter said there is about 100,000 square feet of parking lot that will be available for the testing process at the mall.

"I want to give back to the community, and I know how important it is to save people's lives," he said. He added that he knows how important it is at this point to be able to put business aside to get this testing done so that the economy can be opened up again safely. 

Pinter would like to see other retail centers in the area do the same thing.

There are approximately 10 stores open in the mall at this time including Dillards, Burlington and Bath and Body works. Pinter also added that Santa will be arriving at the mall soon for pictures.

Grayson College Director of Marketing and Media Rhea Bermel confirmed Tuesday that the testing that had been taking place at Grayson College in Denison would be moving to the mall come Monday. The information was in an email received from GoGetTested. 

GoGetTested started testing in Grayson County in September at the Grayson County Health Department before opening sites also at Grayson College and Austin College.

To book a test, please go to gogettested.com and follow the instructions. The testing is free.