Two other testing sites remain in operation in Edinburg and Brownsville

  Tuesday, April 21, 2020
  Community, Announcements

By News and Internal Communications

By Dimitra Trejo

UT Health Rio Grande Valley
UT Health Rio Grande Valley

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – APRIL 21, 2020 – The UTRGV School of Medicine’s clinical team, UT Health RGV, along with Hidalgo County leaders and the City of Mercedes are working to bring a COVID-19 testing site to the Mid-Valley area.

The site is scheduled to open Wednesday, April 22, in Mercedes. The other two UT Health RGV testing sites are in Edinburg and Brownsville, where more than 1,500 COVID-19 tests have been administered to date.

The drive-thru site will be 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 – which is the clinical practice of the UTRGV School of Medicine – will be present to ensure that everyone follows the 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. Individuals who do have insurance will have the cost of the testing billed to their health insurance.

Individuals should arrive at the Mercedes 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 an additional testing site in Mercedes will support the ongoing need for testing citizens in the Valley.

“The UTRGV School of Medicine together with UT Health RGV have been leading the Valley’s effort in providing crucial COVID-19 screening and testing,” Krouse said. “We will continue to be on the front lines providing these services, as well as other resources we have made available to the public, including over-the-phone evaluations and telemedicine.”

He said collaboration between the School of Medicine and state and local leadership has been central to the safety of the Valley community.

“We are grateful to our partners at every level and will continue to provide all resources needed to see this through,” he said. “It is important that citizens also do their part by staying home and staying safe.”

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:


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.