x
Breaking News
More () »

Houston's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Houston, Texas | KHOU.com

How Texas Health and Human Services is prioritizing who will be tested for COVID-19

The state, citing capacity limitations, outlined the criteria it will use to decide who to test for COVID-19.

Texas Health and Human Services released an updated prioritization guide Tuesday on who can be tested for COVID-19.

"Due to current testing capacity limitations in Texas, at this time, public health laboratories in Texas will use the following criteria to prioritize testing of persons at risk of COVID-19," the statement reads.

COVID-19 testing labs have been set up in Dallas and Tarrant counties.

RELATED: Tarrant County can now test for COVID-19

According to the new THHS criteria, a person will be tested if they:

  • Show signs of a fever OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness AND has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
  • Show signs of a fever AND signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness, AND has a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of symptom onset OR has risk factors (like diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease or chronic kidney disease that put them at a higher risk of poor outcomes)
  • Show signs of a fever AND signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness  requiring hospitalization AND no source of exposure has been identified

Signs and symptoms of a lower respiratory illness include a cough or shortness of breath, according to THHS.

On Tuesday alone in North Texas, "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Dallas and Tarrant counties, and the CDC confirmed three cases in Collin County, bringing the total number of cases in North Texas to five.

RELATED: COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak

More on WFAA: