State health department to test for COVID-19; Program offers 18 sites in Cameron County

MGN Online

HARLINGEN — State and local officials are launching Cameron County’s biggest COVID-19 testing program offering 18 sites throughout the month.

County leaders are working with state health officials and the state military department to offer testing free of charge from May 16 through May 31.

“ There’s a lot of interest from citizens who want to be tested,” Josh Ramirez, Harlingen’s health director, said Monday. “That’s why we’re providing more opportunities.”

State health officials and the Texas National Guard will conduct the tests by appointment.

“ All individuals scheduled for testing must show identification and arrive five minutes before the scheduled appointment,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño stated in a press release Monday.

To register, residents can visit www.txcovidtest.org or call 512-883-2400 at least 24 hours in advance of the date they request to be tested.

“ In an effort to maximize COVID-19 testing resources, only one test will be administered per household,” Treviño stated.

The program will offer testing throughout the county to give residents several opportunities to be tested, Ramirez said.

“ For those folks who want to be tested who may have been exposed, it’s important to get them the help they need as soon as possible,” he said. “We want to make sure those patients feeling sick get the help they need in a timely manner.”

Health officials also want to test residents who may have contracted the coronavirus but display no symptoms, he said.

“ It is important to be tested because some citizens may be walking around with the virus and not know it,” Ramirez said. “They have no symptoms. They’re carriers and they’re infecting people.”

On May 5 in Harlingen, state health officials worked with the National Guard to test 90 residents at the soccer complex site, Ramirez said, adding test results are pending.

UT-RGV testing site

In Harlingen, the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley is also offering tests.

Late last month, UTRGV launched its fourth testing site at the Health Science Center on Treasure Hills Boulevard, where tests are being conducted Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So far, the site has tested 210 residents, Ramirez said, adding results weren’t readily available.

Outside its Brownsville site, the program also offers testing in Mercedes and Edinburg.

To qualify for testing, residents are required to call the UT Health RGV Patient Communications Center at 1-833–887-4863 to be screened.

Residents who qualify for testing are set for an appointment.

Brownsville testing site

Harlingen residents can also test for COVID-19 virus at a city of Brownsville site.

Late last month, Harlingen city commissioners entered into a six-month agreement with the city of Brownsville to help fund testing for Harlingen residents at Brownsville’s drive-thru test site at the city’s Sports Park at 1000 Sports Park Blvd.

Testing locations and dates

May 16 — County Precinct 4 warehouse, 26623 White Ranch Road, La Feria

May 17 — County Precinct 4 warehouse, 26623 White Ranch Road, La Feria

May 17 — Los Indios Community Building, 309 E. Haywood, Los Indios

May 18 — County Precinct 1 warehouse, 2050 South Browne Ave, Brownsville

May 19 — Rio Hondo City Hall, 121 N. Arroyo, Rio Hondo

May 19 — South Padre Island Convention Centre, 7355 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island

May 20 — San Pedro Catholic Church, 7602 Old Military Road, Brownsville

May 21 — San Benito Fairgrounds, 551 Cesar Gonzalez Parkway, San Benito

May 22 — San Benito Fairgrounds, 551 Cesar Gonzalez Parkway, San Benito

May 24 — Port Isabel Event Center, 309 Railroad St., Port Isabel

May 25 — Combes City Hall, 21626 Hand Road, Combes

May 26 — Los Fresnos Fire Department, 100 Rodeo Drive, Los Fresnos

May 27 — Los Fresnos Fire Department, 100 Rodeo Drive, Los Fresnos

May 28 — Harlingen Soccer Complex, 4515 E. Harrison Ave., Harlingen

May 29 — Cameron Park Centro Cultural, 2100 Gregory Ave., Brownsville

May 30 — Precinct 1 warehouse, 2050 South Browne Ave., Brownsville

May 31 — Precinct 4 warehouse, 26623 White Ranch Road, La Feria

fdelvalle@valleystar.com