WASHINGTON STATE- The Washington State Department of Health has been adding negative antibody and molecular tests to the overall statewide negative COVID-19 case count inflating the numbers.

Today, the DOH released a statement that increased negative cases over 13% more than the true figures. 

The statement is as follows:

"As we endeavor to improve our data reporting across all aspects of our COVID-19 response, we’ve discovered that we’ve made a mistake in reporting negative test results and we want to be clear about what happened and how we plan to fix it. Because of an error in a work-around established to handle the high volume of negative test results, we have been including negative antibody test results along with negative molecular test results in the total negative tests we’ve been reporting since April 21st. Our intention was to only include molecular test results. This has incorrectly inflated our reporting of individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19 by 13%. This over-reporting occurs in the negative test numbers reported on the DOH dashboard, and the governor’s Risk-Assessment Dashboard. These negative test numbers, while inflated, have not impacted decision-making as it pertains to counties advancing through phases.

This issue does not impact reporting of the numbers of positive test results, but has underestimated the overall percentage of test results that are positive. The corrected cumulative percent positive reported yesterday would increase from 5.5% to 6.2% for testing as of June 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

We have addressed the problem and the corrected numbers will be included in this afternoon’s updates on the DOH dashboard and the Risk Assessment Dashboard.

We apologize for the error."

For more information about the case counts and dashboard visit the DOH website

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