Backlog of Test Results Caused Spike in MN COVID Cases
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota set a new daily record for the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases today but state health officials say the number was inflated because it includes some of the positive results from a backlog of thousands of test results that were submitted to the state on Wednesday.
The Minnesota Department of Health's daily COVID-19 update shows there were 1158 new cases statewide. That includes 256 positive test results from a portion of the backlog of almost 19,000 test results submitted by Valley Medical. Officials say the lab has a history of inconsistent reporting and the backlog will affect the daily reports into next week. Only about 5000 of the 19,000 results from the backlog have been processed.
State officials say the delay in the reporting of the results is most concerning because the people who tested positive were not contacted in a timely manner and may have exposed their loved ones, coworkers, and others to the virus because they were not told to self-quarantine. State investigators also did not have an opportunity to back trace the source of their infections which hampers efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Today's daily report includes 13 additional coronavirus-related deaths throughout Minnesota, which has pushed the pandemic death toll to 1806. The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remained steady. There are currently 305 people hospitalized with 139 of the patients requiring treatment and in an intensive care unit.
11 of the new cases reported today were in Olmsted County. Locally, the positivity rate was below three-percent and the number of known active cases remains below 100.
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