Gov. Abbott sent military mobile testing team to Center for free COVID-19 testing

MTT's will have 11 medical professionals and support staff, as well as 34 soldiers

Shelby County residents and visitors could be seeing a military presence in Center on Friday upon the orders of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Abbott on Monday announced that the Texas National Guard will be mobilizing more than 1,200 personnel as part of COVID-19 mobile testing teams. On Wednesday, Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison announced Shelby County is one of the locations where those MTT's will be deployed.

The 45 member teams will be mobilized in various parts of the state providing greater access to medical testing, according to the governor's office. The areas for these MTTs are being identified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) with the first two of the 25 teams deployed to Fredericksburg and Floresville.

Harbison said it was her understanding the MTT will be set up in Center at First United Pentecostal Church on Hurst Street. On Thursday afternoon there were several military vehicles and personnel at the church.

Abbott said Texas continues to expand its COVID-19 testing capacities to ensure that communities across the Lone Star State have access to the resources they need.

"I am grateful for the dedication of our Guardsmen as they continue to serve their fellow Texans throughout the COVID-19 response,” Abbott said. Kerri Shofner, Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator, said residents wanting to be tested will be scheduled in advance and will be given appointment.

Shofner said residents should call 512-883-2400 or visit the web site at:

There is no costs for the tests at these sites,” Shofner said. “The test procedure will be a nasal swab.”

To be eligible for testing a person must have ONE or more symptoms of COVID-19 for testing.
Symptoms include:
• Fever and/or chills

Sore throat
• Cough (dry or productive)

• Fatigue

• Body aches/muscle or joint pain

Nasal congestion 
• Shortness of breath

Loss of taste and/or smell

"COVID-19 testing is a crucial mission in our fight against this virus," said Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris, adjutant general of Texas. "We are proud to support our partners TDEM and DSHS in bringing this critical capacity to areas in need of medical support."        

The teams will have 11 medical professionals and support staff, as well as 34 soldiers. Currently, the Texas National Guard has the capacity to test 150 people per day at each mobile testing team location. 

The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935