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APH updates Covid-19 testing data

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Austin Public Health reported Monday that 583 people of the 1,800 to use the city’s new Covid-19 online test screening met the criteria for testing. One hundred and twenty-three patients have been tested and 300 are scheduled for a test today. According to the city, APH will be ramping up to administer 2,000 tests per week at its testing site. “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to continually increase our testing here, but according to some recommendations we would need to run close to 2,000 tests a day to reach the goal that they suggested. We’ve still got a long way to go,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority for Austin-Travis County. According to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services, as of April 13, 8,386 tests had been conducted. Escott noted that Austin’s current rate of positive results from tests is between 10 and 12 percent, and that a lower rate of positive results indicates more widespread testing. He said Austin Public Health was working to reach a rate of 5 to 6 percent positive tests. In addition, APH now has a rapid “ID NOW analyzer” that allows for rapid testing and returns results in 15 minutes. However, the public health authority is still waiting on test kits for the machine, which they hope to deploy in facilities dealing with outbreaks of the virus.

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