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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Midland Health Department expanding lab to meet community needs

The small department is working on getting an ultracool freezer to store the anticipated vaccine that could be coming sooner than later.

MIDLAND, Texas — More Covid-19 cases are on the rise, and so is the number of people using the Midland Health Department's services. 

It's causing the department to outgrow its space. 

"We still want to be open to the public to provide the services that we were providing pre-COVID but also still respond to the pandemic so those are two separate arms of what we're doing," said Whitney Craig, the health and senior services manager for the City of Midland. 

Looking ahead, new tools in the fight against COVID-19 are coming and the Midland Health Department is preparing. 

The small department that's tucked away in a shopping center is working on getting an ultracool freezer to store the anticipated vaccine that could be coming sooner than later. 

"The packaging that they send the vaccine in is meant to keep it at that temp for 15 days and so you send it back and then they'll recycle it and send more, so they have a system set where they send you what you need but it's cumbersome and so that's why we're going to go the route of purchasing an ultra cold," said Craig. 

The freezer will be able to hold around 970 doses of the vaccine, and the city wants to make sure none got to waste.

"There's a shelf life of six months so with the vaccine being so scarce we just want to make sure that we're using that and won't have to dispose of any," said Craig. 

The vaccine may not be here yet, but the department is still acting now. 

"We have an electrician here today as soon as they can verify that we have the correct outlet with the right voltage we can get that in," said Craig.