COVID-19 testing positivity rate hits 20%, new high in Texas

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The COVID-19 testing positivity rate is at the highest point yet in Texas.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported the seven day positivity test rate on August 8 was 20.31%. The rate has increased from 12.05% on July 31.

As the push to increase COVID-19 testing continues, a free site opened in Fort Bend County Monday.

The testing site, operated by United Memorial Medical Center, opened at Christ Temple of Deliverance in Missouri City. It will run from August 10-15 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

People hoping to get tested do not need to have symptoms or a referral. They will need to bring a photo ID.

Monday, Congressman Al Green held a news conference at the testing site to encourage the community to get tested.

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An additional free testing site is open at The Lighthouse Church at 6630 Rankin Road in Humble.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said it was important to open a location there because it is in an area where many minorities live.

"We are clearly in need of communities of color to be tested, tested, tested," Congresswoman Jackson Lee said.

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Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows there are currently 33,088 active cases of COVID-19 in Harris County, 5,230 in Galveston County, 4,639 in Fort Bend County and 2,009 in Montgomery County.

Of the 4.7 million people in Harris County, the department reports that 648,733 tests have been administered. That is the highest number of any county in the state.

In a statement, a spokesperson for LabCorp said they have the ability to process 180,000 tests every day and have plans to increase that number.

Patients usually wait between 1-3 days from the time LabCorp picks up the specimen, according to a spokesperson. Tests given to residents and staff from nursing homes in "hot spot" states in addition to hospitalized patients are being prioritized.

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