COVID-19 surge overloading testing labs, causing backlogs

COVID-19 testing labs around the country are again seeing delays in test result reporting, according to reports from California and Ohio. 

The California Department of Public Health, in a Sept. 1 daily update to statewide COVID-19 numbers, said the Aug. 25 tally of more than 23,000 cases “includes several thousand cases that were delayed from Northern California Kaiser Permanente.”

Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nonprofit health organization, said that a now-resolved lab system problem affected its reporting of coronavirus cases for weeks, the Sacramento Bee reported Sept. 1.

The corrected numbers for Sacramento County show an August peak of about 715 cases per day, roughly 30 percent higher than previous reports showed. At least two other counties in Northern California were also affected.

The Ohio Department of Health said Sept. 1 that a reported increase of 7,102 cases includes 1,021 delayed positive test results from Aug. 15 to Aug. 25. A lab reporting delay is the reason for the higher case total, the department said.

 

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