+1 (713) 486-3122 [email protected]

About Harris SAVES

Harris SAVES was a research project that helped understand the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The project was led by UTHealth School of Public Health in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Harris County Public Health.

Through this research project, we provided FREE TESTING FOR EVERYONE (including children) in Harris County, even if participants were not sick, and regardless of gender, race, income or immigration status. Results were private and usually available within three days. Each participant received a gift card as a thank you for their time.

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Testing Locations are Closed

The Harris SAVES study has ended, but the danger of COVID-19 continues, and we truly believe that the key to stopping the spread of the virus in our communities is the continuation of prevention efforts, including routine COVID-19 testing, getting vaccinated, frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

We encourage you to use Harris County Public Health and readyharris.org as a trusted, local resource for free COVID-19 testing and vaccination information. Again, we thank you for your support and participation in our study and look forward to serving you and the rest of Harris County through other research opportunities well into the future.

Stay safe and get tested. It's for you, your loved ones and your community.

All participants are asked to please wear a mask when you arrive for the test.

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Here's what you need to know about testing:

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Who can get tested?

Testing is available to everyone regardless of symptoms, race, nationality, or residency status. Don’t forget to wear your mask!

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No documentation needed

You do NOT need to show proof of residency or immigration status.

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No ID needed

You may get tested even if you don't have a photo ID.

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Parents present for kids

Children can be tested with a parent present.

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Information kept private

Your personal information is private and won't be shared with others.

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Results in 2 days

Your private test results will be available within 48 hours.

Our testing during this research project will show us how many people in your community currently have the COVID-19 virus.

Testing will NOT tell you if you have had the virus before, and a negative test result does NOT mean you will never have COVID-19.

The vaccine will be available to everyone soon, but it will still be some time before everyone can get it. We all must continue to be safe by wearing masks, washing our hands often, keeping away from others, and avoiding groups. Do what you can to stop the spread!

Sign Up

And receive a registration code via email.

Register in person

Once you get to a testing location. *

* While you’ll be able to get tested if you register in person, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment. That way, we can prepare for your arrival and give you the best experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Harris SAVES is a COVID-19 research project led by UTHealth School of Public Health in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine & Harris County Public Health.

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Why should I get tested for COVID-19?

When you get tested, you, your family, friends and neighbors are working together to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Testing for the Harris SAVES research project (SARS-CoV-2 Prevalence Survey) is free, and you can get tested each time we're in your community. Since COVID-19 can be spread by people who aren't showing symptoms, it's important to get tested even if you are not sick.

Take care of your community and your loved ones by getting tested, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping your distance from others.

What do I need to do to get tested?

Sign up to take your test. Onsite, walk-up registration is available. If a child is getting tested, a parent must be present at the testing location. Your personal information will not be shared with anyone.

All participants are asked to please wear a mask when you arrive for the test.

How is the test done?

Testing is done by trained medical professionals with a nasal swab. All testing is free and private. Results are available within 48 hours and will be sent to your email.

During the test, a medical professional will insert a long swab with a soft end into your nose and twirl it around for a few seconds. The swab will collect a sample for testing. It may feel uncomfortable and make you tear or a gag slightly, but it should not hurt or cause any harm. The whole test takes just a few minutes, and is the most accurate COVID-19 test available.

Testing is done by Acadian Ambulance Service, and test processing is done by the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center.

How do I get my test results?

If you provide an email address you will receive an email from the Baylor College of Medicine with a secure, private link to access your results about 48 hours after you are tested. If you don’t provide an email, your results can be given by phone at 713-486-3122.

If you have technical difficulties getting your results please email [email protected] for help.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive, we are here to help you. The UTHealth Harris SAVES help line (713-486-3122) is available Monday-Friday, 8am - 5pm and is prepared to talk to you about next steps for your positive test results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that if you test positive for COVID-19 you should stay home, and stay away from other people, even people you live with, if possible. Please wear a mask if you are around others. Most people with COVID-19 can recover at home without seeing a doctor. It is possible to have COVID-19 and not show symptoms, but remember that you can still get other people sick. Please stay home, stay away from others and monitor for symptoms that may appear later.

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you show any of these signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in your chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake or to wake up
  • Blue lips or face

It's important that you tell anyone you were around that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and that they should get tested.

To obtain hard copy of your test results please email: [email protected].

What if I test negative for COVID-19?

A negative test is great news—but remember, it doesn't mean you won’t get the virus in the future. Please continue to be safe—wear a mask, wash your hands often, use social distancing from others, and avoid groups. The tests used by Harris SAVES are the MOST accurate test available, but there is always a small chance that they can be wrong, especially during the first few days right after you have been infected. If you ever start to show symptoms of COVID-19 (even if you had a negative test result), isolate yourself and get tested again.

Do your part to stop the spread. And if you think you need to—get tested again, and often!

To obtain hard copy of your test results please email: [email protected].

What can I do to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in my community?

Continue to follow public health recommendations to wear a mask around other people, wash your hands often, and practice social distancing.

Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to get tested for COVID-19, and tell them about the free tests provided by Harris SAVES and others.

More information on COVID-19 is available in English and Spanish. Learn how to protect yourself and your community.

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Our Team

UTHealth School of Public Health is a graduate education and research institution dedicated to advancing population health. It is a member school of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the most comprehensive academic health center in the University of Texas System. UTHealth School of Public Health has campuses in Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio, all of which are strategically located to best serve Texas’ diverse and geographically unique communities.

Baylor College of Medicine works to apply science and discovery to further education, healthcare and community services for all. The Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center explores individual DNA and its connection with human diseases to better study complicated diseases.

The Harris SAVES project is funded by Harris County.

Harris County Public Health works alongside Harris County officials to improve the health and well-being of Harris County residents by fighting public health threats. HCPH has previously responded to public health issues such as rabies, mosquito-borne illnesses, air and water pollution, disease outbreaks, water and food-borne illnesses, natural disasters and other diseases.

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