Positive COVID-19 results rise from 1% to 12% in Taylor County, health district breaks down different types of tests


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Positive COVID-19 results have risen from 1% to 12% in Taylor County over the past month, and the health district is breaking down the different types of tests contributing to the rise.

Abilene-Taylor County Health District Director Annette Lerma says that the week of June 8, only 1% of the tests conducted in Taylor County yielded positive results, but last week, 12% of the tests were positive.

Most of the positive cases, at least 400, have been confirmed through PCR testing, which Lerma calls the ‘gold standard’ because it is able to confirm active cases of COVID-19 by finding pieces the virus on a molecular level. However, results take one day to over a week to return, meaning people could be spreading the virus as they wait for results.

Another type of testing, antigen testing, allows individuals to get results within 30 minutes. It tests for COVID-19 proteins and is a good indicator if someone is actively fighting the virus, though not as accurate as PCR testing. 64 positive antigen tests have been recorded in Taylor County to-date.

Finally, a third type of test confirms if an individual has COVID-19 antibodies. This test is a good indicator if someone has been exposed to the virus, however, further testing is needed to determine if they are actively infected. Taylor County has recorded 117 positive antibody tests.

Lerma says that increase in positive tests has doubled the number of hospitalizations and that the largest age group contributing to the increase are 20-29 year-olds, likely from going to bars and social gatherings.

She, along with other leaders from the City of Abilene and Taylor County, encourage citizens to wear masks in public, wash their hands, and practice social distancing.

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