Texas Adds Probable Cases, Antigen Test Positivity Rate to Data Dashboard

News Release
Dec. 11, 2020

The Texas Department of State Health Services today will update the COVID-19 data dashboard to include additional data and to simplify the layout to improve functionality.

DSHS is adding case counts for probable cases statewide and by county. Probable cases are those identified through antigen testing or a combination of symptoms and a known exposure without a more likely diagnosis. Reporting probable cases allows Texans to see a more complete picture of how COVID-19 is affecting Texas since both confirmed and probable cases represent active infections. For that reason, they will be included in the estimates of active and recovered cases.

In addition to the probable case counts, DSHS is adding a positivity rate for antigen tests. This positivity rate, based on when people were tested, aligns with the most reliable positivity rate for molecular tests. These positivity rates, which show the percentage of tests taken in a given period that are positive, provide a consistent view of the severity of the pandemic over time because they most closely reflect the conditions when people were tested.

The configuration of the dashboard will change to improve performance. Some tabs will be combined, and users will be able to toggle between confirmed and probable cases, fatalities, and active and recovered estimates by county on a single tab. Case and fatality demographics will also be consolidated onto one tab.

“These dashboard refinements are part of our effort to continually improve our insight and response to the ongoing pandemic,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “The development and increased use of antigen testing to detect current infections prompted the inclusion of probable case counts and the antigen test positivity rate in the data we post daily. The trends in this and other data shape our understanding of the course of the pandemic in Texas.”

After several months of posting three positivity rates for molecular tests, as previously announced, DSHS will retire the rates based on when lab results were reported to the state and the legacy rate which used the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over seven days divided by the number of new molecular test results over the same period. 

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(News Media Contact: DSHS Press Officer, pressofficer@dshs.texas.gov)

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Last updated December 11, 2020