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Texas A&M-Kingsville donates COVID-19 sampling kits

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Dr. Shane Creel, left, presents sampling kits to Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid.

Dr. Shane Creel, left, presents sampling kits to Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid.

Kingsville, Texas — President Mark A. Hussey announced today that Texas A&M University-Kingsville presented COVID-19 testing kits to Kleberg County.  

“Texas A&M University-Kingsville is pleased to be able to provide these much-needed test kits to our community during these challenging times,” said University President Dr. Mark A. Hussey. “As a member of a land grant university system, the ability to provide this type of support is at the heart of our mission, and we remain committed to placing the needs of the community and state at the forefront.” 

The viral sampling kits were rushed to Texas A&M University-Kingsville by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station. The kits were assembled from lab supplies usually reserved for pigs, cows and chickens at A&M’s four diagnostic labs across the state.  

"The partnership and support from Dr. Hussey and the Texas A&M University-Kingsville team continues to play a vital role in keeping our county and area residents safe, said Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid. “We humbly accept their donation which will help ensure the stability of our Regional Remote COVID-19 Testing Center in Kleberg County. Our community thanks them for their leadership.”  

Texas A&M University-Kingsville also provided test kits to two Kingsville area healthcare clinics that often serve the Kingsville community and the University student population—Castaneda Quick Care and StatCare Urgent Care.  

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said the veterinary experts who track disease outbreaks in animals were ready to assist with the current human pandemic.  

“No one has ever done this before, but tough times call for creative measures,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.  

Dr. Bruce Akey, director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, said he sent out a plea for supplies to his labs in Amarillo, Center and Gonzales and they began overnighting the supplies late last week.  

“We assembled the supplies into sampling kits here in our College Station lab,” Akey said. “We know that the 2,000 we came up with may not seem like much when there are 20-plus million Texans at risk that may need testing, but if you need to be tested and you can’t right now because they don’t have this kit then it’s a pretty big deal to you and your family. So we are doing what we can right now.”  

The kits consist of a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the sample in the vial, and a bag. They usually cost about $4 to $5 if you were to order them in bulk before the pandemic swept through the existing stock. Now, these simple supplies are back-ordered for months, crippling efforts to test humans for COVID-19.  

“We hope to get these sampling kits in the hospitals or clinics where they are most needed as soon as possible,” Akey said. “We are pulling out all the stops.”  

About The Texas A&M University System 

The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy. 




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