One of the many problems found in dealing with a pandemic is maintaining accurate statistics about it.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) discovered that fact again in a big way this week when it was made aware of 7,912 long delayed reports of positive cases from 40,000 tests from FastMed Urgent Care sites.
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the state added the cases to the NC COVID-19 Data Dashboard. In addition to the one-time increase in positive cases, the delayed reports from FastMed also added about 40,000 total test results to the dashboard.
So, the February 3 COVID-19 dashboard numbers include a large number of cases from tests performed at FastMed clinics during December 2020 and January 2021. Those cases hadn’t been previously reported to NCDHHS.
The state also offered some good news today despite the influx of old data. Health officials announced that cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina have been trending downward since the second week of 2021.
According to state health officials, FastMed has now fixed its reporting process, and the state is finally getting timely results from the company.
State officials emphasized that the delay in reporting of the 40,000 test results didn’t stop patient notifications, nor did it prevent care from FastMed being provided to patients who tested positive.
Before December 2020, all of the testing from FastMed was done by third-party laboratories, and those test results were reported to NCDHHS and at that time were included in the NC COVID-19 dashboard numbers.
Anyone who wants to see the updated case numbers, test information and other COVID-19 data can do so at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.