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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Hidalgo County Public Health Facility gets initial certification as Bio Safety Level 3 Laboratory

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As dignitaries from federal, state and local governments gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Hidalgo County’s Public Health Facility, they received word that officials had awarded the laboratory its BSL3 certification to provide healthcare services. Image courtesy of Hidalgo County
As dignitaries from federal, state and local governments gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Hidalgo County’s Public Health Facility, they received word that officials had awarded the laboratory its BSL3 certification to provide healthcare services. Image courtesy of Hidalgo County
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EDINBURG, Texas – As dignitaries from federal, state and local governments gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Hidalgo County’s Public Health Facility, they received word that officials had awarded the laboratory its BSL3 certification to provide healthcare services.

Officials along with Judge Cortez and Commissioner Torres. Image Courtesy of Hidalgo County

“We had to go through a rigorous testing process in order to receive this certification so this is a significant first step in the process of providing healthcare services out of this laboratory,” said Eduardo Olivarez, chief administrative officer for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Image Courtesy of Hidalgo County

The $8 million lab is a collaborative effort, funded by the United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in partnership with the Hidalgo County Urban County Program.

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The state-of-the-art, 10,000 square-foot laboratory was constructed within Precinct 4 and is located directly adjacent to the Hidalgo County Health & Human Services Department. The standards that the lab met fulfilled criteria set by the World Health Organization and the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories.

Officials at the ceremony. Image Courtesy of Hidalgo County

The facility also incorporates a medical clinic, curbside testing and office space tailored to accommodate laboratory staff and specialists.

“Precinct 4 is proud to have worked closely with federal and state officials, as well as our Health Department to make this lab a reality for our constituents,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres.

Judge Cortez and Commissioner Torres Touring the facility. Image Courtesy of Hidalgo County

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the facility shall include a SARS-CoV2 testing and testing of other virology diseases through the use of nucleic acid assay (i.e. PCR machine). The lab will also include bacteriology testing equipment with capabilities to identify and report susceptibilities of organisms, as well as serology testing capabilities and other associated services. The Hidalgo County Public Health Facility stands ready to serve the community with comprehensive diagnostic services. 

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County official with Commissioner Torres and Judge Cortez. Image Courtesy of Hidalgo County

“This facility is a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of our Hidalgo County employees,” said County Judge Richard F. Cortez. “As the dark days of COVID descended on Hidalgo County, there was a recognition of an urgent need for a facility like this so planning and implementation of construction happened simultaneously with our efforts to combat the pandemic.”

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