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Austin, other Texas cities can now test for coronavirus, Gov. Abbott says

Once all of the labs are online, Gov. Abbot said Texas will be able to perform more than 125 tests per day.

AUSTIN, Texas — As a part of Texas' Laboratory Response Network, a Texas Department of State Health Services lab in Austin is now able to test for the novel coronavirus, according to a press conference Gov. Greg Abbott held on Thursday.

The network includes 10 public health labs throughout the state, according to Gov. Abbott. Besides the location in Austin, there are also labs in Lubbock, Forth Worth, Dallas, Tyler, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Harlingen and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Gov. Abbott said in the conference that of these locations, the labs in Austin, Houston, Dallas Fort Worth, El Paso and Lubbock are currently open and able to test for the virus.

The rest of the labs are expected to be online by the end of the month, according to Gov. Abbott.

Gov. Abbott said the lab in Austin is able to test approximately 26 cases per day, the labs in Houston and El Paso are able to perform approximately 15 tests per day and the labs in Dallas and Lubbock can perform approximately 10 tests per day.

Once all of the labs are online, Gov. Abbot said Texas will be able to perform more than 125 tests per day.

The test involves taking a nasal and oral swab from the patient, which will then be sent to the closest state lab for testing, according to Gov. Abbott.

Gov. Abbott also said a new coronavirus patient has been identified in Fort Bend County, Texas.

According to the press conference, the new patient likely contracted the virus while on a trip overseas and was not exposed to it in Texas. Gov. Abbott said an epidemiological contact test is being done in Dallas to determine who all came in contact with the new patient since they returned to Texas.

Gov. Abbott said the new testing sites will help to expedite the process.

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