6 Texas labs equipped to test coronavirus, Gov. Abbott says

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- As cases and fear of coronavirus expands in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday six public labs are equipped with testing capabilities to detect COVID-19.

The facilities are within Texas' Laboratory Response Network, and Abbott expects four more labs to be able to handle testing in the coming days.

The announcement came in the wake of a Fort Bend County case being confirmed as the state's first COVID-19 case. On Wednesday, county officials labeled the case, a man in his 70s, as a "presumptive positive."

"Our state is better positioned to confront and mitigate any potential spread of this virus," Abbott vowed.

As of Thursday, Abbott reassured the current risk to the public is low.

According to the governor, the labs with testing capabilities are located in Austin, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth and Lubbock. The labs awaiting the testing compliance are in Tyler, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Harlingen.

The governor's office added the state public health lab network will be able to test over 125 patients per day once the entire network is equipped. The ability to provide testing in Texas will help shorten the time for healthcare providers to receive test results and public health officials to take appropriate steps.

On the same day, Harris County confirmed two travel-related cases of coronavirus.

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