Anyone who looked at the state’s COVID-19 numbers on Saturday, Aug. 29 was likely shocked to see a dramatic spike in the number of positive cases reported that day.

But, fear not, that jump was highly misleading because, in reality, for reasons that are still under investigation, the state received in a single day roughly 1,000 positive cases from much earlier in August.

From the time the coronavirus pandemic hit, there’s been a great deal of confusion about it. At first, North Carolinians were told not to wear masks. Then they were told by order of Gov. Roy Cooper they were required to wear masks.

There were reports that the disease spreads easily from surfaces and then the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) reported that it doesn’t.

About a month ago, the state put out a press release with guidelines as to who should be tested that was unfathomable to most who read it. The state never responded to a question of clarification from the Rhino Times, and an operator at a COVID-19 hotline, when asked about the guidelines said she also couldn’t make heads or tails of that press release.

Earlier this summer, the state created a “dashboard” on the web that provides a great deal of information – but it became clear on Aug. 29 that even that “hard data” can be misleading.

On Saturday, the state put out the following advisory: “The total new lab-confirmed cases on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID-19 Data Dashboard for Aug. 29 reflects an increase caused, in part, by approximately 1,000 positive tests from dates in the first half of the month that were reported to NCDHHS by LabCorp in the past 24 hours. The Department is working with LabCorp to understand the cause of the delayed reporting; however, LabCorp confirmed that individuals were not delayed in receiving their results.”