QUESTION: I heard there’s more mobile COVID-19 testing coming to Longview. A couple of the days require prescreening for symptoms for an appointment. When mobile testing was here the first time, the prescreening questionnaire asked questions about insurance. Is insurance required for me to be able to sign up for this test?
ANSWER: It is not, but I agree that question can be confusing.
For review, there are four free opportunities in Longview next week to get tested for COVID-19, on June 9, 11, 12 and 13.
Prescreening for symptoms and an appointment is required for drive-up testing that will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Foster Middle School, 1504 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and Thursday at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 2500 McCann Road. Registration opens Monday at www.txcovidtest.org or by calling (512) 883-2400. (Symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, chills, body aches, vomiting, sore throat and loss of taste/smell.)
The online registration form for the Tuesday and Thursday testing includes a series of questions about contact information and symptoms, but it also includes a page for “insurance information.” It includes this statement: “The COVID-19 test is free and insurance is not required and there is no deductible.” Then it asks you to select whether you have “private insurance,” Medicaid/Medicare, or “no insurance.” If you select “no insurance,” this message pops up: “The COVID-19 test is free and insurance is not required. Insurance not required, click next to continue!”
If you select that you have insurance or Medicare/Medicaid, the form asks you for information about your policies, but Seth Christensen, chief of media and communications for the Texas Division of Emergency Management, said the information is being collected for documentation purposes. He said the tests are free, and people who participate won’t get any kind of “back-end co-pay” at a later date. The information could be used if the state seeks some kind of federal reimbursement.
Walk-up testing will be offered 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Community Connections, 501 Pine Tree Road, and June 13, a week from today, at Broughton Recreation Center, 801 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. No appointment is required, and there is no prescreening. Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Q: How can one get rid of an old, nonworking refrigerator?
A: Refrigerators are difficult because they contain refrigerants. I spoke with Longview Sanitation and Beautification Manager Todd Gibbs to see if this was something the city would grab in a scheduled bulky item collection, and they’re not, because of the rules involving disposing of items with refrigerants in them.
You’ll have to verify with local scrap yards that they accept refrigerators, and either take the refrigerator there yourself or find a local junk collector who will take it off your hands for you. (Answer Line can’t recommend businesses, so I can’t give you phone numbers, but a quick internet search with the words “Longview Texas junk collection” or a glance at the business listings in the phone book should give you some options.)
Q: I just read the very sweet article in the paper about Hallsville graduate Reed Cook and his mother, who has cancer. I’d like to help the family somehow. Is there a way for me to send money to them?
A: Yes, a friend of the family previously established a Go Fund Me page to assist the Cooks. You can find information here: https://gf.me/u/x6t7h6 .