Laboratory Services


Attention: Testing services may be reduced or delayed 


For over 90 years the Lab has worked tirelessly to keep Texans safe and healthy. The Department of State Health Services Lab is one of the largest public health laboratories in the U.S. Annually, we test more than 1 million samples for infectious and food-borne diseases, biological and chemical compounds, and biological agents. And every year more than 400,000 Texas babies are screened twice for 54 metabolic and genetic disorders. The lab also helps keep our drinking water safe by testing water from the over 6800 public water systems.

COVID-19 Serology Testing Available Starting August 01, 2020 at The DSHS Austin Laboratory

The DSHS Austin Laboratory now provides testing for total antibodies (IgM, IgA, and IgG) to SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) in human blood utilizing the Bio-Rad Platelia SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab assay. This serology test can be used to detect whether there has been an adaptive immune response to COVID-19, indicating a recent or prior infection, but should not be used for diagnostic purposes.  Specimens will not be tested without prior Epidemiologist (Epi) approval.  Contact your Regional and/or Local Health Department (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) and obtain Epidemiologist (Epi) approval to test.

  • Find specimen collection and submission instructions here.

  • Required Forms: G-2A Specimen Submission Form

  • Acceptable specimen criteria:

    • Specimen Type
       
      • Serum in gel separator tube or transport tube 

      • Plasma collected in EDTA
       
    • Shipping requirements 
       
      • if DSHS receives within 4 days of collection ─ ship cold at +2-8°C

      • if DSHS receives > 4 days of collection ─ frozen/dry ice at -20°C or colder

For additional information and ongoing updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, please go to: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday  

Posted August 18, 2020


Notice regarding COVID-19 testing at the DSHS Austin Laboratory

As of Monday, April 13, 2020, the Texas DSHS Austin Laboratory will begin utilizing the PerkinElmer New Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Detection Kit and chemagic extraction platform to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing.  The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel will continue to be available until current supply resources are exhausted.

  • Acceptable specimens include:

o   Nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) swabs, combined NP/OP swabs, and nasal swabs in Viral Transport Media (VTM), Universal Transport Media (UTM), liquid Amies media, and sterile saline.

****Please continue to use the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions for specimen collection, handling, and shipping guidance.****

ALL specimens for COVID-19 testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet DSHS PUI criteria prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

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

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov

DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday  

Posted April 13, 2020


Notice regarding testing and submission of specimens for COVID-19 testing to the DSHS Austin Laboratory


As of April 6, 2020, the Texas DSHS Laboratory has made the following changes regarding acceptable specimens for COVID-19 testing. 

1.  The DSHS Interim COVID-19 Case Report Form (found at htps://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/public-health.aspxis no longer required with sample submission. 

For further details, please see the COVID-19 Specimen Collection and Submission Instructions located on the DSHS Laboratory website

PUI ID is no longer required.  However, ALL specimens for COVID-19 testing require preapproval.   Contact your Local Health Department or DSHS Public Health Region (https://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/2019-nCoV-Local-Health-Entities/) to ensure patient meets Patient Under Investigation (PUI) criteria for testing and to obtain DSHS approval to test. Specimens MUST meet DSHS PUI criteria prior to shipping and WILL NOT be tested without prior approval.  Please DO NOT ship specimens prior to receiving this approval.

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

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ 

Email: coronavirus@dshs.texas.gov 

DSHS COVID‑19 Call Center:  2-1-1 Option 6 
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Monday – Friday 

Posted April 6, 2020


ATTENTION  BACTERIOLOGICAL WATER CUSTOMERS

Public Water Systems and Private

Effective March 30, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, the hours and times for bacteriological water receipt will change to the following starting on March, 30, 2020.

Water samples accepted Monday – Thursday 8am – 2pm (Except Federal Holidays).

An updated notification will be sent when we resume to our regular schedule of Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm (Except Federal Holidays). 

For questions or comments: Call toll free: 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7598 or for local calls 512-776-7598


Last updated August 18, 2020