COVID-19 is still an issue in our area and now you can find out if you have the virus for free in Texarkana.

The latest numbers from the Bowie County Emergency Operations Center reports 86 new cases since last Thursday for a total of 1,653 positive COVID-19 cases, with 75 deaths. The Department of State Health Services is reporting 1,148 recoveries.

Just this past week we have had schools on both sides of town reporting multiple cases and some schools have had to cancel classes and quarantine students. Miller county is now listed as one of the worst counties in Arkansas for COVID-19. But the question is why are the cases going up in our area.

A recent story on CNN.com says that the increase in numbers of COVID-19 is because of a few factors. Fatigue, what exactly is pandemic fatigue? We have let our guard down because of the length of time we have been dealing with this pandemic. We are not masking as much and we are going out more and we are attending more big gatherings. Another factor is that schools being back in session.

Through the end of the year, there will be free COVID testing and it will be offered Monday- Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Texarkana Bowie County Family Health Center at 902 W. 12th Street in Texarkana. There are no requirements for testing. The test is an oral swab with results in 48-96 hours, and pre-registration is available here.