Hidalgo County’s new public health facility gets level 3 bio safety certification

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Hidalgo County’s newest Public Health Facility which officially opened Thursday was awarded a Bio Safety Level 3 certification.

“We had to go through a rigorous testing process in order to receive this certification so this is a significant first step in the process of providing healthcare services out of this laboratory,” said Eduardo Olivarez, chief administrative officer for the Hidalgo County Department of Health and Human Services, in a news release.

The $8 million lab, which was funded by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development in partnership with the Hidalgo County Urban County Program, is located within Precinct 4 at 1200 S. I-69C Frontage in Edinburg, behind the county’s health and human services department.

The 10,000-square-foot facility includes microbiological and biomedical laboratories, a medical clinic, curbside testing as well as office space for lab staff and specialists.

Hidalgo County area dignitaries seen during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the county’s new public health facility in Edinburg. (Courtesy of Hidalgo County)

The lab is equipped with SARS-CoV2 testing as well as testing for other virology disease through the use of nucleic acid assay.

It also includes bacteriology testing equipment that is able to identify and report susceptibility of organisms, serology testing capabilities and other associated services.

For county Judge Richard F. Cortez, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the need for a public health facility of this nature in order to help address health concerns.

“This facility is a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of our Hidalgo County

employees,” Cortez said in the release.