Virginia Dept. of Health revises COVID-19 test data reporting method

Local Coronavirus Coverage

RICHMOND. Va. (WJHL) – To provide more accurate information about COVID-19 testing at a community level, Saturday the Virginia Department of Health announced that it will begin reporting data on testing encounters by health district using more accurate ZIP Code information.

According to a press release from VDH, the new data will impact 37,362 test results that were previously not assigned a specific health district designation because of incomplete patient address information was reported to the department.

The state health department began reporting testing numbers on May 1. According to the Saturday release, VDH often receives laboratory reports with incomplete information, those results were included in the statewide total, but were listed as missing geographic data and, as a result, did not appear in local health district counts.

Starting Saturday, VDH officials announced it will report test encounter data using a tiered approach. 

If a test record is missing a patient address ZIP Code, the ordering provider’s ZIP Code will be used, the release explained. If neither ZIP Code for the patient or ordering provider is available, the testing laboratory’s ZIP Code will be used.

By using the new data reporting method, testing encounter numbers will increase the health district figures in Southwest Virginia as follows:

  • Cumberland Plateau by 208
  • Lenowisco by 234
  • Mount Rogers by 197

The release added that this change in how VDH presents data on testing encounters does not impact case data.

Saturday’s VDH coronavirus numbers: VDH: 43,611 COVID-19 cases in Virginia, no new cases in Southwest Virginia

For a complete county-by-county map of confirmed cases in Virginia, click here.

The Virginia Department of Health does not report recoveries from the virus.

Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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