State backlog inflates COVID-19 case numbers

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Over the past few days, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) updated a backlog of previously unknown COVID-19 tests performed to Denton County Public Health (DCPH).  The backlog is due to coding errors of which a recent system upgrade should resolve, state health officials said.

Thus far, DCPH has received over 800 positive tests that were not previously reported that are older than one week, dating back to June.  In addition to positive cases received, DSHS has also assigned thousands of tests performed to Denton County; this has rendered DCPH’s previous positivity rates as invalid.  Moving forward, DCPH will not report the positivity rate, as that rate was reliant on numbers supplied by DSHS.

DCPH will continue to investigate each positive viral test reported.  Through the investigation of these additional reports, the demographic information, including cities, gender, symptom onset date, recovery status, transmission status, and more, will continue to update on the DCPH COVID-19 Statistics website.  This process of individual case investigation interviews will continue to validate positive cases, remove duplicates, and provide transparency in DCPH’s local data.  DCPH will continue to validate any reported fatalities due to COVID-19 with rigorous documentation review to confirm diagnosis, disease progression, and geographic information for each reported death.

DCPH on Wednesday announced 106 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Denton County.  This increases the cumulative, countywide total to 8,960 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  DCPH also reported 142 newly recovered cases of COVID-19, increasing the countywide recovery total to 5,981.

DCPH is providing a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center in Denton on Friday, August 21.  Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8 a.m.  The testing center will be held at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N. Elm Street.  Eligible community members are those who have had symptoms of COVID-19 within the past seven days, essential employees, individuals 60 years and older, as well as individuals who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.  All community members must call to pre-register for testing at 940-349-2585.

For additional COVID-19 data including active case information by municipality, hospital capacity, and ventilator utilization, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVIDstats.  For information regarding DCPH’s upcoming testing centers, please visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19testing.  For additional COVID-19 health and safety recommendations, visit dentoncounty.gov/COVID19.

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