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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Denton County to include antigen tests in its COVID-19 case reporting

The county reported 1,240 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Of those, 1,181 cases were antigen tests.

DALLAS — Denton County Public Health reported 1,240 new, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county Tuesday. This brings the county's cumulative total of confirmed cases to 13,748 since tracking began in March. There are 493 active cases in the county right now, officials said.

The county also said 1,181 of the positive tests reported Tuesday are positive COVID-19 antigen tests. 

An antigen test "looks for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus to determine if the person has an active infection," according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The test is usually done by using a nasal or throat swab, and patients can get results immediately or after the test has been sent to a lab for examination, depending on what entity performs the test. 

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If someone tests positive on an antigen test, that means that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Denton County said it will start to report positive antigen tests daily, and will also include antigen test recovery numbers in its recovery reporting. 

These tests "have been reported and investigated within the last few weeks," officials said. 

The county reported 988 recoveries, including antigen test recoveries, Tuesday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 11,845 since tracking began in March.

The move to include antigen testing numbers is a response to how Denton County residents are being tested, the DCPH said in a Tuesday news release.

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“Several weeks ago, our team reminded providers to report positive antigen tests. As we investigated both PCR and antigen-positive cases, we noticed a significant shift in the testing behaviors of our community members,” DCPH director Dr. Matt Richardson said in the news release.  “More community members are utilizing rapid antigen testing and our data now reflects that. Data integrity is maintained and enhanced with the reporting of these new cases, as each positive antigen test is investigated in the same way DCPH investigates molecular tests.”

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The county will offer a free drive-thru testing center on Friday, Oct. 9 at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm St. in Denton starting at 8 a.m. 

You must make an appointment. Only Denton County residents who have pre-registered for the event and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19 are eligible. Call 940-349-2585 to register.