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Data backlog pushes Friday spike in statewide COVID-19 cases

Data backlog pushes Friday spike in statewide COVID-19 cases

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positivity August 7

A screenshot from the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard on August 7, 2020, show the total testing encounters (dark blue bar), positive testing encounters (light blue bar) and the 7-day moving average for percent positivity (yellow line). The graphic indicates that the percentage of positive results dropped as testing has steadily increased.

The Virginia Department of Health reported Friday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 97,882 — an increase of 2,015 from the 95,867 reported Thursday.

That spike is due to a two-day backlog of information that should have been reported Wednesday and Thursday, combined with Friday's normal count, the health department said. It caught the issue late Thursday, the result of a "system performance configuration."

The 97,882 cases consist of 94,141 confirmed cases and 3,741 probable cases. There are 2,317 COVID-19 deaths in Virginia — 2,208 confirmed and 109 probable. That’s an increase of 18 from the 2,299 reported Thursday.

The VDH defines probable COVID-19 cases as people who are symptomatic with a known exposure to COVID-19, but whose cases have not been confirmed with a positive test.

As the overall number of positive COVID-19 test results in Virginia grows, data from the VDH coronavirus dashboard shows the percentage of positive results from testing is down. The seven-day average for percentage of positive test results was at 7.3% as of Aug. 3, which is the most recent figure provided by the VDH. That’s down from a peak of 20.8% on April 21.

State health officials have said there’s a lag in the reporting of statewide numbers on the VDH website. Figures on the website might not include cases or deaths reported by localities or local health districts.

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