As the number of US cases rises, Vice President Pence says there are not enough tests to meet demand

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a new public testing lab network across the state that he said will allow Texas to process kits more quickly.  

“What is starting today is intended to expedite that process. We just now have that capability to make sure we can turn around those test results a whole lot quicker,” he told reporters at a press conference today in Austin. 

The labs are located in 10 cities: Lubbock, Fort Worth, Dallas, Tyler, El Paso, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Harlingen. 

So far about half the labs are up and running (Houston, Dallas, El Paso, Lubbock, and Forth Worth), while the others will be online by the end of the month, Abbott said. 

Abbott also confirmed that the patient diagnosed with coronavirus in Fort Bend County contracted the virus overseas, but he would not say where. He confirmed an investigation is underway on who’s been in close contact with the patient. 

Asked for his thoughts on SXSW not being canceled, Abbott said that was a decision up to local officials.

Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, maintained there has been no community spread of the coronavirus in Texas, since the patient in Fort Bend County contracted the virus overseas. He also said that’s why they’re not concerned about homeless populations yet at this time. 

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