Edinburg public health task force launches resource website

Edinburg public health task force launches resource website

The Edinburg public health task force on Friday. (Courtesy: City of Edinburg/Facebook)

EDINBURG — The Edinburg public health task force launched their COVID-19 resource website on Friday, shortly after refining what information the site would have to offer during the task force’s second meeting.

Led by Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider, members of the task force discussed the resources already featured on the site and offered up new suggestions.

The resource website, housed on the city’s website, already includes links for people seeking a COVID-19 test or a vaccine.

It also has direct links to COVID information from their partners which include Hidalgo County, DHR Health, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, South Texas Health System, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

In addition to that information, Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza Jr. suggested adding a section for frequently asked questions that will help redirect residents to find answers and information they’re seeking.

“There’s a lot of resources here,” Garza said, “this is just to try to simplify it for our residents to get to where they need to.”

CEO of South Texas Health System Lance Ames suggested adding a list of volunteer opportunities for to help recruit assistance for organizations that need it.

And while the majority of resources on the site focus on providing assistance for the immediate effects of COVID-19, Dr. Michale Dobbs from UTRGV suggested including information for people experience long-term COVID symptoms.

After reviewing the suggested additions, Snider updated the members on the current testing and vaccine sites.

DHR Health’s vaccine site, currently housed at the Pharr Events Center, is expected to move to Edinburg, Snider said.

“We’re moving towards that being moved to the city of Edinburg and it’s going to be at the activity center,” he said. “They’ll be doing that for at least four months at that location.”

The regional testing site currently held at the Edinburg Municipal Park will end on Monday, Snider added, after more than two months of administering COVID-19 tests for residents.

The site was established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with TDEM, Hidalgo County and the city of Edinburg.

When the site first opened in January, Snider said staff there were testing about 800 to 1,000 per day.

The numbers have diminished since then but overall, the site had administered about 6,000 PCR tests, according to Eddie Olivarez, chief administrative officer of the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department.

Next week, there will also be another COVID testing site located at the city’s library.

That site will open on March 8 and vaccinations there will be administered on a first come, first serve basis. Neither identification nor registration will be required.

The public health task will continue discussing COVID-related matters during their next meeting next month.

Until then, the suggestions for the resource website are expected to added and made available for residents.

The COVID-19 resource site can be found at cityofedinburg.com/covid or it can also be accessed through the COVID-19 link on the city’s homepage.

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