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The 56 US states and territories we track report their total test results in three main ways: by specimens tested, by people tested, and by “test encounters,” a unit which usually counts unique people tested per day.

In the early months of the pandemic, many of the jurisdictions we track reported positive and negative tests, but not total tests. To arrive at a total tests number for each jurisdiction, we added together the positive and negative numbers from states and territories. (This method usually produced a total tests number reported in people.) COVID-19 data reporting has significantly improved since the spring of 2020, and this method is no longer required.

As we make the transition from using computed total test numbers to direct reporting of the total test numbers states publish, we are publishing total test numbers in all available units for each state and territory on our website, and in separate fields in our API. Where we must choose a unit for total tests reporting, we are prioritizing units of test encounters and specimens above people—a change which we believe will provide the most useful measure of each jurisdiction’s testing capacity. For more information on how and why we are changing our reporting methods, please see “Counting COVID-19 Tests: How States Do It, How We Do It, and What’s Changing.”

This page will serve as a central reference where our API and website users can easily see which states are reporting total tests in each unit and how this information is reflected on our site and in the API.

Total tests on our website

On our website, we report all the total tests metrics that each state or territory provides, so many states will have two “total tests” numbers, each labeled by the unit in which they’re reported.

In the “New tests” chart on each state page, we require at least 150 days of historical data to visualize in the chart. For states that offer multiple total tests metrics with 150 days of historical data, we use, in order of most to least preferred, tests reported in testing encounters, tests reported in specimens, or tests reported in people. Otherwise, we default to “total test results,” which sums the state’s positive and negative figures.

The total tests metric we visualize in each state’s chart is labeled on the chart itself, and also listed below.

StateTotal test results field"New Tests" chart field"New Tests" chart units
AlabamaTotal PCR Tests (People)Total PCR tests (people)People
AlaskaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
American SamoaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
ArizonaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
ArkansasTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
CaliforniaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
ColoradoTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
ConnecticutTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
DelawareTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
District of ColumbiaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
FloridaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
GeorgiaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
GuamPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
HawaiiTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
IdahoTotal PCR Tests (People)Total PCR tests (people)People
IllinoisTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
IndianaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
IowaPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsPeople
KansasPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsPeople
KentuckyTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
LouisianaPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
MaineTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
MarylandTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
MassachusettsTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
MichiganTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
MinnesotaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
MississippiPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
MissouriTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
MontanaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
NebraskaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
NevadaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
New HampshireTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
New JerseyPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
New MexicoTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
New YorkTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
North CarolinaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
North DakotaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
Northern Mariana IslandsPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsPeople
OhioTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
OklahomaPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
OregonTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
PennsylvaniaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
Puerto RicoPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
Rhode IslandTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
South CarolinaPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsSpecimens
South DakotaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
TennesseeTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
TexasTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
US Virgin IslandsPositive + NegativeTotal test resultsPeople
UtahTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
VermontTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
VirginiaTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
WashingtonTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
West VirginiaTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens
WisconsinTotal Test Encounters (PCR)Total PCR tests (test encounters)Encounters
WyomingTotal Tests (PCR)Total PCR tests (specimens)Specimens

API changes

In our API, we offer multiple total test fields, which you can learn about on our Data Definitions page. These include three fields with different units (specimens, people, and encounters) that draw direct totals figures from states whenever they are available, and our original total tests field, which is still calculated for most jurisdictions by adding together that jurisdiction’s positive and negative results (totalTestResults).

We are gradually switching our totalTestResults field to draw totals directly from the test encounters, specimens, and people field, in that priority order. We only switch to non-calculated, directly reported total tests for a state or territory when that state or territory has provided a time-series stretching back to March. So far, we have switched Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Since September 17, 2020, these changes have been reflected in the national totalTestResults field.