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COVID-19 case numbers lower than they appear in Ohio Tuesday due to ODH lab error

CDC study finds COVID-19 antibody tests underestimate infection numbers
Posted at 3:38 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 15:38:16-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health reported "artificially low, incomplete COVID-19" case numbers on Tuesday due to an electronic laboratory reporting error.

According to ODH, testing data from labs across the state is automatically submitted to the department through a system that feeds into the Ohio Disease Reporting System.

On Monday, ODH received five incorrect ELR files from a long-term care facility.

The state said every file submitted had both valid lab results and invalid rows of data.

According to the department, the volume of invalid data rows caused a backlog in the system, which delayed the system from being able to process confirmed COVID-19 cases from other facilities.

No lab results have been processed since 5 p.m. on Monday.

The state said reported cases will be underreported until the backlog is cleared and valid lab results can pass through again.

There were only 4,163 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday, less than one-quarter of the 21-day daily case average of 20,335.

New hospitalizations trended upward Tuesday with 565 reported over the last 24 hours, nearly 200 above the 21-day average of 378.

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Current trends for key COVID-19 statistics, as of Jan. 25, 2022.

There were 19,213 COVID-19 tests conducted in Ohio on January 23, the latest day testing data has been reported by the ODH. Of those tests, 26.6% were positive, compared to the seven-day moving average positivity rate of 26.8%.

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COVID-19 testing data as of Jan. 23, 2022.

On Jan. 15, the omicron variant made up 92.15% of COVID cases over the previous two weeks that were genomically sequenced in Ohio. The delta variant made up the remaining 7.85%.

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COID-19 variant data as of Jan. 15, 2022.

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