Free COVID-19 testing center returns to Hill County this week

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

September 15, 2021

A free COVID-19 testing center is once again operating in Hillsboro this week as the latest surge in cases has caused long lines at some testing facilities.

“We have been looking for additional COVID-19 testing resources for Hill County for some time,” said Hill County Judge Justin Lewis Saturday, September 11. “After being turned down by the state multiple times, we have located a private company that will provide this service.”

The testing center opened Monday, September 13, and is once again being operated at the Hill County Fairgrounds, located at 205 Stadium Drive in Hillsboro.

The site will be operated by Embry Health with testing available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Judge Lewis said that the testing is currently scheduled to be offered through October 17.

Pre-registration is not required, but those who would like to preregister can visit to schedule a time.

There will be no cost to any patient for the test. Embry Health will bill insurance for those who are insured, and CARES Act funding will cover those who are uninsured.

“Positive COVID cases are on the rise in Hill County. As of yesterday (September 10), we had 320 new confirmed cases since August 10,” Lewis announced Saturday.

“To put that in perspective, a month ago, August 13, Hill County only had 114 new cases in the preceding 30 days,” he said.

Data from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Sunday showed that there had been 126 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in Hill County since the start of the pandemic, with 16 of those deaths occurring since the end of July.

DSHS reports a total of 46 fatalities in Bosque County.

In Trauma Service Area (TSA) M—which includes Hill, Bosque, McLennan, Limestone and Falls counties—there were 223 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in area hospitals as of Sunday, with two available staffed adult ICU beds and no pediatric ICU beds available in TSA M.

Approximately 38 percent of Hill County residents are fully vaccinated, and 46 percent of Hill County residents have received one dose of a vaccine, according to the state’s data. About 43 percent of Bosque County residents are fully vaccinated, with approximately 51 percent having received one dose. Vaccines remain widely available from local medical offices and pharmacies.

The latest information is available on the DSHS website at

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