MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Regional Infusion Center in Mission was set to extend operations through April 30, according to a press release sent out by Hidalgo County on April 12.
When ValleyCentral visited the infusion center an on-site project manager said they were being shut down early on April 19 instead.
Hidalgo County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo Saldaña said the early shutdown came as a surprise, but he knew “it was a matter of time.”
Since August of 2021, the Rio Grande Valley’s Regional Infusion Center has served 6,250 COVID-19 patients. It was originally located at DHR Health in Edinburg and then was transferred to Mission Regional Medical Center.
Saldaña said the infusion center’s goal from the start was to support as many people through the pandemic.
“I believe we exceeded that goal we were looking for in that duration. The community responded well,” added Saldana.
As the infusion center went above and beyond its intended goal and covid numbers continue to decline, the state has deemed the infusion center “non-essential.”
Saldaña told ValleyCentral the demand for infusion is no longer here and it became “too costly” for the state to run as they were only serving a few people a week.
“There were about two or three [infusion recipients] and then there were days that we had none, so the decision was made to start closing it,” stated Saldaña.
Although the infusion center is shutting down 11 days earlier than anticipated, there weren’t any scheduled appointments that will be affected, according to Saldaña.
The latest covid update for Hidalgo County is from April 14. The county reports there only being 190 active cases.
Due to how low the total number of active cases there currently is, Saldaña said more than likely there will not be another regional infusion center that opens up in the Rio Grande Valley.
Hidalgo County was unable to provide the total cost of operations for the infusion center and the Texas Department of Emergency Management, the agency that funded the center, required an open public information request. ValleyCentral is currently waiting on the request.