HOUSTON – As coronavirus testing continues in Texas, some have wondered how the number of tests being performed compares to the number of cases reported in the state.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there have been more than 7.53 million tests performed in the state since the pandemic began. More than 845,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state. That works out to an overall positivity rate of about 10.09% as of Oct. 21. The first chart below shows that data.
The second chart below tracks the seven-day positivity rate reported by DSHS, starting June 1. The standard seven-day rate as of Oct. 21 was 7.42%. However, on Sept. 14, DSHS added additional metrics to the seven-day positivity rate calculation. One is the positivity rate based on the date a specimen was collected. The other is the positivity rate based on the date a lab test reported a case to DSHS. State officials said these metrics will help give a more accurate picture of the pandemic’s status, correcting for a lag in results being reported.
DSHS is adding two new positivity rate measures to the dashboard today. Hear from Dr. H about these changes and how they help us understand #COVID19 in #Texas. https://t.co/dmNddrnFtm pic.twitter.com/gNJgCtZq1R— Texas DSHS (@TexasDSHS) September 14, 2020
DHHS officials said the huge drop in the seven-day positivity rate from Aug. 11 to Aug. 12 was due to a backlog of cases being resolved and a decrease in testing demand across the state.
On May 21, Texas health officials disclosed that about 6% of the coronavirus tests that have been performed were actually antibody tests instead of active infections.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said specialized strike teams will be used to help control any outbreaks of the coronavirus that happen as the state’s economy reopens.
Harris County leads the state in the number of coronavirus cases being reported at more than 154,000.
You can view the current positivity rate for the Greater Houston area here.