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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Bastrop County picking residents at random to voluntarily test for COVID-19

County officials said the data will help officials with their planning process regarding reopening businesses and other community activities.

BASTROP, Texas — More than 100 Bastrop residents will be randomly asked to voluntarily participate in free COVID-19 testing over the span of two days. County officials are not disclosing where the 14 testing sites are located. 

"We're trying to make sure there's not a lot of prevalence of asymptomatic transmission. That is people that are not sick who are carrying the virus," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, the Bastrop County health authority. 

It's all part of an effort to determine how widespread the coronavirus is in Bastrop County and stop the spread, according to a press release from the County. The County is looking to collect data about adults who have not been showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have not tested positive.

Unknown locations are chosen based on population density. Dr. Walkes said it's also based on what they've seen in their closed testing sites. They hope by doing this, it'll get Bastrop County residents back to work faster in a safe way.

"We live in a society where we have a lot of great minds thinking about the problems that we're facing right now. We're going to move this mountain and we are going to get our economy back," said Dr. Walkes. 

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On April 23 and April 24, about 150 residents there will be asked to participate at 14 different locations across Bastrop County.

“Random testing is done so there is a better understanding of the pattern and spread of COVID-19 in the County,” said Walkes. "If somebody's positive, they're going to be contacted, not only by us but by the Department of State Health Services, which is the normal way of processing positive cases."

County officials said the data will help officials with their planning process regarding reopening businesses and other community activities.

KVUE previously reported that less than 1% of Travis County residents have been tested for the coronavirus, and less than 1% of Texas residents have been tested.

WATCH: Texas ranks low in COVID-19 testing

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