Ohio lab tech issues delay COVID-19 data; virus spread 'dramatically' affects health systems' ability to care for patients

The Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 data has been skewed by technical issues related to lab reporting, although Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine noted the virus is still spreading quickly across the state, according to local ABC affiliate News 5 Cleveland.

The state reported COVID-19 cases were artificially inflated on Nov. 23 due to lab delays; two labs did not report results over the weekend. The state still has a backlog of around 6,000 cases to report as well, according to Mr. DeWine.

On Nov. 24, the state's COVID-19 dashboard was updated to show numbers, but a note on the website warned the data was incomplete. "Thousands of reports are pending review. Additionally, today's data includes positive test results that were delayed because of technical issues related to lab reporting. Please bear with us as we work through the surge in testing," the statement reads.

There were 4,358 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Nov. 24, according to the governor's office and 11,885 new cases reported in 24 hours. "The virus is quickly spreading throughout our entire state and is dramatically impacting all of our healthcare zones and their ability to care for patients," Mr. DeWine said.

Robert Wyllie, MD, of Cleveland Clinic expressed concern for the health system's ability to care for patients in the report, noting 970 caregivers were out due to COVID-19. "These caregivers are not catching this in the hospital, but rather in the community. As the community spread increases, so does the number of caregivers who are in quarantine from exposure or who are sick with coronavirus."


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