On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services released the first numbers of coronavirus tests administered statewide. A total of 1,268 people have been tested, a number that lags behind other states that are similar in size, like California and New York, which have each tested roughly seven times as many people.
While the state’s numbers of administered tests include both public and private lab reports, the only private laboratories included in the initial totals were ARUP Laboratories, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics. Because other private labs and hospitals are also testing, the totals might not reflect the complete scope of testing done by the private health care sector.
At least 64 people have tested positive for the virus, according to DSHS figures. That number does not include the 12 people who tested positive while quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
A spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott told the Texas Tribune on Monday that it’s “apples and oranges” to compare Texas’ testing numbers with states like California, where the community spread was reported sooner.
Still, the lack of testing has caused confusion among Texans who are still unable to get tested despite experiencing symptoms.
Abbott said Monday that the state will ramp up testing to 10,000 weekly, so Texans should expect the number of positive test cases to go up exponentially.
Disclosure: Quest Diagnostics has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.