COVID-19 testing efforts to ‘greatly expand’ in Hidalgo County

State officials are planning to substantially increase testing for COVID-19 in Hidalgo County beginning Tuesday, according to a county news release issued Tuesday.

There have been 394 cases of COVID-19 reported in Hidalgo County, with more than 6,000 individuals who have been tested thus far. It’s unclear what the rate of testing will be, however.

Tuesday’s announcement follows Gov. Greg Abbott’s mandate that 100% of residents and staff from nursing homes in Texas will get tested for the virus across the state.

“Several factors are converging in Hidalgo County that will result in a greater number of people locally having the opportunity to be tested,” Cortez said in the release, which stated that testing efforts will “greatly expand.”

Cortez added, “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.”

Drive-thru testing will begin Wednesday at Hargill Elementary, located at 13394 Fourth St. in Hargill. Testing will continue on Thursday at Monte Alto ISD, at 25149 First St. in Monte Alto; and Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School, at 39200 Mile 7 Road in Mission.

Abbott has previously indicated that he wants 2% of the Texas population to be tested as part of his Open Texas efforts.

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 testing will be free, but people who wish to be tested must first consult with health officials and make an appointment 24 hours prior to the test date.

People will be screened for 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, and loss of taste and/or smell.

Visit or call (512) 883-2400 to initiate the testing process.