Reporting of Saturday’s COVID-19 numbers delayed until Sunday, FDOH announces

Coronavirus Crisis
Coronavirus Crisis

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health announced that Saturday’s daily COVID-19 reports will be delayed until Sunday.

On Friday night, FDOH said a technical glitch caused 400,000 previously reported COVID-19 test results from Helix Laboratory to be sent in again, even though the lab only submitted 3,000 tests for that day.

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“Helix submitted results in accordance with the Florida Statute and DOH procedures and was not at fault for this incident. On the day in question, we submitted approximately 3,000 reports, in line with our testing volumes from that day. As far as we can tell, our transmission was normal. Due to an unforeseen technical issue not caused by Helix, however, previously reported historical data was repeated. We continue to work with the Department of Health to understand exactly what happened and why our historical data was impacted,” the laboratory said in a statement to News 6.

The massive size of the data file and the need to de-duplicate hundreds of thousands of results prevented the automatic reporting system from processing Friday’s results as it normally does, according to FDOH.

State epidemiologists are currently working to reconcile the data, which will take a day to finish, FDOH said.

“This was not the fault of Helix or the Department of Health. We are working with technical experts to ensure this does not happen with subsequent data submissions,” The Florida Department of Health said.

This reporting issue is not related to notifying individuals of their results. Notification is performed by the lab or entity that offered the test, according to FDOH.