Hidalgo County to greatly expand testing for its residents

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Texas Border Business

EDINBURG – In addition to Governor Greg Abbott’s mandate that 100 percent of residents and staff of nursing homes in Texas get tested for the COVID-19 virus, state officials will begin ramping up testing in Hidalgo County significantly beginning on Wednesday, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said Tuesday.

“Several factors are converging in Hidalgo County that will result in a greater number of people locally having the opportunity to be tested,” Judge Cortez said. “This will give us a more accurate picture of how effective our mitigation efforts have been and allow us to make more informed decisions about relaxing controls in the county.”

Before Governor Abbott announced the 100 percent testing in nursing homes mandate, he previously had indicated that he wants 2 percent of the Texas population to get tested as part of his Open Texas efforts. To help comply with that goal, the Texas National Guard, the Texas Military Department and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services have begun negotiating with emergency management officials in Hidalgo County to set up as many as 18 new drive-through testing sites in unincorporated areas of the county.

The effort begins with drive-through testing in Hargill on Wednesday, then Monte Alto and Mission on Thursday, said Chief Ricardo Saldaña, head of Hidalgo County’s Emergency Management Division.

The testing will be free to those being tested, but officials warn that this is not on-demand testing. People who wish to be tested must first consult with health officials and make an appointment. To initiate that process, people may go to www.txcovidtest.org or call 512-883-2400. 

Chief Saldaña is still negotiating with state officials to secure more testing sites in Hidalgo County over the next few weeks. Residents are encouraged to visit www.hidalgocounty.us to see a list of updated testing sites as they become available.

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The following are a list of Mobile Test Collection sites:

  • Hargill Elementary at 13394 4th St. (4th & Wilson) in Hargill (Wednesday)
  • Monte Alto ISD at 25149 1st street in Monte Alto (Thursday) 
  • Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School at 39200 Mile 7 Road (Pueblo de Palmas) in Mission (Thursday)

You will be screened to see if you have the following symptoms:

·         Fever and/or chills·         Sore Throat
·         Cough (Dry or Productive)·         Headaches
·         Fatigue·         Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
·         Body Aches/Muscle or joint pain·         Nasal Congestion
·         Shortness of breath·         Loss of taste and/or smell

Tests are conducted by appointment only and registration opens 24 hours prior to test date.

To register please call 512-883-2400 or visit http://txcovidtest.org/

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