Lab Testing Information


Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing


As of March 5, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory is accepting specimens per the criteria outlined in the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions document found at: COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions

ALL specimens for 2019 nCoV testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region ( to ensure patient meets Person Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet PUI criteria and have a state specific PUI identification number for testing prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.


Call 936-523-5040 to obtain PUI number if sending specimen to Houston LRN lab.

This line will be monitored Monday – Friday 8 AM – 4 PM


For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to:


DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center: 1-877-570-9779
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday


Private Lab Testing Information

We wanted to pass along some helpful information when it comes to testing and results. For information on criteria of when to test, go to this link: The criteria changes on a daily basis; make sure you are checking this link often. The section you are looking for is called, “DSHS Criteria to Guide Testing of PUIs for COVID‑19.” 


Helpful links for providers: