Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said that 566 people in Texas have received presumptive positive or confirmed tests for the new coronavirus — and acknowledged that state health officials’ daily disclosures of Texas cases have excluded an unknown number of those cases.
Earlier this month, as the virus was first showing up in Texas communities, local health departments started disclosing what are called “presumptive positive” tests, which were then sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.
Abbott said on Sunday that the Texas Department of State Health Services’ daily updates do not include presumptive positive tests awaiting confirmation.
That disclosure came hours after Sunday’s statewide numbers were released, which show at least 334 people have tested positive. The CDC has reported 21 cases at a federal quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Abbott said that when presumptive positive tests are added to the state's confirmed cases and the Lackland cases, there have been 566 positive tests in Texas.
The number of new positive cases the state reported Sunday is 9% more than the number of cases reported Saturday. The most affected county is Dallas, with 30 cases, followed by Harris, with 27, and Bexar, with 24. But due to different reporting methods, those state numbers are sometimes vastly different than local health officials' disclosures. For instance, Dallas County officials are reporting they have had 131 cases among its residents as of Sunday morning.
Some counties are reporting how many patients test positive there while the state classifies people with positives tests by the county they live in, regardless of where they got tested or are being treated. The state reported 69 cases where investigators are still determining the county of residence.
At least 8,756 tests have been administered, a 590% increase over Tuesday’s testing total of 1,268 when the state first released testing numbers.— Chris Essig and Brandon Formby