UT Health RGV opening COVID-19 testing site in Harlingen

HARLINGEN, TEXAS – APRIL 27, 2020 – Beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the UTRGV School of Medicine, through UT Health RGV, is opening its fourth drive-thru location offering COVID-19 screening.

The new location is in Harlingen, and will be open two days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Three previous testing sites – one in Edinburg, one in Brownsville and one in Mercedes – continue their testing operations. Due to a decrease in demand at the Brownsville location, that site now will be open three days a week, with personnel and resources moving to the Harlingen location the other two days.

Screenings at all four UT Health RGV testing sites are by appointment only.

The UTRGV School of Medicine’s clinical team, UT Health RGV, along with Cameron County leaders, the City of Harlingen and the VA Texas Coastal Bend Health Care System, worked together to bring this testing site to Harlingen.

More than 1,700 COVID-19 tests have been administered to date at the other three UT Health RGV testing sites.

All four UTRGV drive-thru sites are available to employees, students and the public, and on-site evaluations will be available by appointment only for those 18 years of age or older who qualify after mandatory telephone screening.

To make an appointment, call ahead to the UT Health RGV Patient Communications Center at 1-833 – UTRGVMD (1-833-887-4863) to be screened.

Protocols are in place to avoid testing-site congestion; to make sure that test kits will be used for those with symptoms; and to ensure that social distancing and other safety protocols are maintained.

The clinical staff of UT Health RGV – the clinical practice of the UTRGV School of Medicine – will be present to ensure that everyone follows drive-thru testing protocols, and to help avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Individuals without insurance can get screened for COVID-19 at no cost. Those who do have insurance will have the cost of the testing billed to their health insurance.

Individuals should arrive at the Harlingen UT Health RGV drive-thru testing site with their identification. Results of the PCR-based tests will be confirmed within 24 to 36 hours for those tested.

Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and executive vice president for Health Affairs, said providing this site in Harlingen will support the ongoing need for local testing.

“The UTRGV School of Medicine together with UT Health RGV will continue to be on the front lines to bring these services to our Valley community, along with other resources for the public, including over-the-phone evaluations and telemedicine,” he said. “We are grateful to our partners across the Valley and will continue to provide all resources needed to see us through.”

For additional questions about symptoms, prescriptions and UTRGV COVID-19 drive-thru appointment times, call 1-833-UTRGVMD or visit our UT Health RGV COVID-19 resource website, which includes an online form for anyone interesting in a phone screening, at: https://uthealthrgv.org/health-care-news/coronavirus/.

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.