Governor Abbott said everyone who needs a COVID-19 test will get one; here’s how he defined ‘need’


AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Gov. Greg Abbott said last week that everyone who needs a COVID-19 test would be able to get one. But many Texans have expressed frustration over the difficulty of getting those tests.

The Governor tried to address those frustrations during Thursday night’s town hall.

“There’s a difference between everyone who wants a COVID test and everyone who needs a COVID test,” Abbott said. “The only people who need a COVID test are those who are showing signs or symptoms of having COVID-19, and there’s no reason to give that test to those who are otherwise healthy,” Abbott continued. The Governor then deferred to Dr. John Hellerstedt, who leads the Department of State Health Services.

Hellerstedt emphasized that private laboratories are helping to bolster the state’s capacity to test for COVID-19. “We’ll have more testing sites around the country that private laboratories will make available, again thousands of tests per week and maybe even more in a very short period of time,” Hellerstedt said.

Gov. Abbott emphasized that Texans should consult with a doctor before trying to get a COVID-19 test.

“If you think you have it, you should call your doctor and visit with your doctor about what the correct approach is,” Abbott explained. “The COVID test is going to be provided for free to anybody who qualifies for it. The qualifier is a prescription by doctor,” Abbott said.

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