Drive-thru testing to be available in Starr County

Starr County will have a centralized testing station for people suspected of having contracted COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

During a health summit held Tuesday at the Starr County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Jose Vazquez, the county health authority, announced the drive-thru station will be installed in the next few days.

The tentative location is the parking lot of South Texas College in Rio Grande City.

The county will be working with a private lab to conduct the tests for the Starr County community.

In order to qualify for the test, patients must first be evaluated at a doctor’s office. Only if they fall into the required criteria — set by the CDC and the Texas Department of Health — will a patient be provided a prescription for the test.

Vazquez said that any patient that doctors believe is a candidate for testing should self-quarantine for two weeks.

At the station, which will be open daily, samples will be taken and then sent elsewhere for testing.

Vazquez reiterated that testing is not available for everybody and noted that law enforcement will be present to maintain order.

“Hopefully we will have more and more testing materials as the days come,” he said. “However, right now, in this time, we are still facing some shortage and we are dealing the best way we can in this situation.”