Information for Laboratories

Texas Case Counts microscopic example of a coronavirus

Laboratory professionals can find interim guidance (including guidelines for handling and processing specimens) on the CDC website:
CDC Guidance for Laboratories COVID-19 Testing & Reporting by Laboratories: Q&A (CDC)

Guidance on Reporting Positive, Negative, and Indeterminate COVID‑19 Test Results to DSHS

On March 24, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott ordered every public or private entity that is utilizing an FDA-approved test, including an emergency use authorization test, for human diagnostic purposes of COVID-19, shall submit to DSHS, as well as to the local health department, daily reports of all test results.

In order to comply with the executive order, laboratory facilities must submit all COVID-19 test results, including positive, negative, and indeterminant results. To set up your facility for electronic transmission, please see the registration and onboarding instructions on the Complying with Governor’s Order to Report COVID-19 Lab Test Results in Texas page. Laboratories who were previously submitting electronic laboratory results to DSHS should also review the registration instructions and complete the online registration form found on the above page to provide updated information on COVID-19 reporting.

Lab reports must include all information required by the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 97.3, including the following: patient name; identification number; patient address; telephone number; age; date of birth; sex; race; ethnicity; disease; diagnostic indicators (date specimen collected, specimen source, disease test type, test results, date of report, and clinical indicators); date of onset; physician or practitioner name; address; and telephone number.

Laboratories that refer testing to another laboratory that does not provide all the required information, as noted above, are required to report the results according to the TAC.

All laboratory results for patients tested in Texas must be reported to DSHS. Additionally, any results for Texas residents (home address listed as Texas) who are tested outside of Texas must also be reported to DSHS.


This page is being updated as new information becomes available.

Last updated September 15, 2020