CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — COVID-19 testing is in high demand, and testing centers across the valley are seeing hundreds of people at testing sites such as those in Cameron County.
Rolando Casas, Cameron County’s assistant emergency management coordinator, said they have seen 894 Cameron County residents over the past two days between both their sites.
“The numbers are a lot higher than expected of the turnout, we weren’t expecting that much of a turnout,” said Casas.
He said they are offering rapid tests and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests at their testing sites.
“We are offering the rapid test, if for whatever reason you do test positive, we are offering the PCR test,” he said.
He said that there is a difference in the way the tests are administered.
“The rapid test is the around the rim of the nose, in the interior maybe about a quarter inch in. The PCR test is that other test that we all don’t like to take, the one that goes a lot further into the sinus area,” he explained.
He said it takes a lot of work and a team effort to get their testing centers ready and operational.
“Our commissioners, the staff, sheriff’s office, the constable’s office, everybody plays a part in making the operation run smoothly,” he said.
The staff starts their day by setting up cones, working on the traffic flow, and preparing testing supplies, according to Casas.
He said the workload can be heavy and sometimes breaks are not available, but they are working hard for the community.
“We’re trying to take care of them as well, they’re doing their part to take care of us so we just ask the community to be considerate about that, I know it’s not as fast as they expect,” he said.
Casas explained that long wait times are due to the 15-minute results wait time after testing and said getting to the site before hours of operation is not advised.
“It’s not safe to be out there that early in the morning. We did have a few vehicles stall out there in La Feria,” he said.
Casas said it is important to be mindful when deciding to head out to get tested.
“Get tested if you’re starting to feel ill, if you’re feeling well, you’re feeling good, give the opportunity to the other ones that might need it,” said Casas.