Gov. Greg Abbott said on Tuesday in Beaumont that the state will increase its testing capabilities by utilizing more rapid tests.The state will also categorize positive results differently from tests sent to a lab.
Gov. Abbott also said that nursing facilities will increase rapid testing after some facilities waited longer than a month to get their results. He also said that labs in Texas have pledged to provide what he called “more robust, quicker” test result turnaround times.
Gov. Abbott said those who test positive to a rapid test, known as an antigen test won’t be labeled as COVID-19 positive. Those tests will be labeled as COVID-19 probable. He said only people who take the PCR test, what the state has used from the start with the long cotton swabs given nasally, and test positive will be labeled as positive.
“Only someone who goes through a viral COVID-19 test, and tests positive, will be categorized as a person who tests positive for COVID-19,” Gov. Abbott said. Gov. Abbott didn’t specify the desired length of time the state was shooting for when it comes to test result return, which has been a problem with these so-called “data dumps” that we often hear so much about here locally.
When asked about reopening bars, Gov. Abbott said that when the state opened bars the first time in May and June, the state saw a spike in active cases. He noted how bars are set up to keep people social and when they become intoxicated, they are able to control themselves and lose the capacity to make good decisions.
“We want to assist them as much as possible,” Gov. Abbott said. “Everyone needs to work collaboratively to slow the spread of COVID-19. We have to be vigilant right now.”
Here locally, Mayor Joe McComb said that 52 restaurants passed the pop-in inspections aimed at finding violators of capacity and face mask rules.