A lab with the Dallas County Health and Human Services is the first in Texas with coronavirus testing capabilities.
The county's Local Response Network laboratory will provide timely testing for novel coronavirus, DCHHS said. There are now more than 92,000 cases around the world.
The lab serves several other counties in North Texas, which increases regional preparedness in response to this emerging public health issue.
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‘We’ve dramatically strengthened Dallas County’s testing capability over the last five years and this specific testing capacity will decrease our test turnaround from 72 hours to less than a day,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “Vice President Pence has announced coronavirus testing would be made available to any American as soon as possible. However, this will involve many commercial labs. DCHHS only has the ability to test a limited number of test kits per day. We will continue to follow CDC guidelines at this time but the turnaround will be greatly enhanced.”
“While there are currently no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Dallas County, we are taking the risk of an outbreak very seriously and are preparing for any level of response that may be needed,” said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang. “The ability for us to test for coronavirus locally here in Dallas County is essential to our preparedness efforts and ability to rapidly respond to this evolving situation.”
How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott