Error Drops COVID-19 Number in Georgia

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The number of COVID-19 cases released by the Georgia Department of Public Health declined over the weekend because the agency corrected a data coding error, a spokesperson said on Monday.

The agency mistakenly saved the results of 231 tests that verify COVID-19 antibodies as diagnostic tests, causing them to be coded as confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, said DPH spokeswoman Nancy Nydam.

The number of cases dropped on Sunday when the error was corrected. Current confirmed cases amount to approximately 38,000.

Antibody tests are designed to tell those who are not currently sick if they have been exposed to the virus. Diagnostic tests show whether a person is currently ill.

“We are working diligently to provide the most accurate information and we apologize for any confusion,” the agency said in a statement. DPH disclosed the error on its online daily status report, where the error originally appeared.
The Georgians are closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases and other measures on the DPH online status report as they judge whether it is safe to return to work and other activities. DPH has been criticized in recent weeks for presenting confusing or incorrect information about its online status report.
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