The State of North Carolina is continuing to have trouble reporting accurate numbers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the state backtracked on the number of positive COVID-19 test results and warned that about 1,000 reported cases had been recorded very late – and misleadingly created what looked like a giant one-day spike in the number of positive cases. On Labor Day, the state sent out another correction – this time regarding its reported hospitalization numbers.
In a Monday, Sept. 7 press release, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) stated that, since Friday, Sept. 4, the state “has experienced continued technical and submission issues with hospital systems’ data, which have been exacerbated by the holiday weekend, resulting in incomplete hospitalization data.”
While the first snafu in reporting data created a misleadingly high impression of the number of positive cases for a single day, the holiday weekend information mishap underreported the number of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus. Both of these errors come right in the wake of an early August reporting error in which the state inadvertently included nearly a quarter of a million tests – ones given out of state – in the number of tests given in North Carolina.
According to state health officials, they are currently working with all parties involved to resolve the issue and they hope to have accurate numbers out soon.
Early in the pandemic, the state created a COVID-19 “Dashboard” on the web to provide the public with a running count of things such as the number of tests given across the state, the number of positive results, a by-county breakdown and the number of hospitalizations and deaths.
The state’s press release notes, “Because the COVID-19 NC Dashboard displays only data that it is received, it is likely that actual hospital numbers are higher than what is on the current dashboard.”
On Monday, Sept. 7, the Dashboard reported 765 people were in hospitals due to the virus.