RICHMOND, Va. -- Health department data released Friday shows an additional 44,661 tests processed because of a previous backlog of negative PCR tests, officials said.
"Two laboratories began electronic reporting to VDH this week, allowing a backlog of negative tests to be included in today’s testing report," Virginia Department of Health (VDH) officials said.
Officials noted that while 564 new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday, positive tests from the backlog were "hand entered into the system when they were received to support follow-up by public health staff."
Officials said one lab had roughly 18,000 results and the other had around 13,500 results, according to VDH officials.
Officials said the remainder, 13,161 tests, represents the normal daily reporting.
"The addition of these negative tests will result in a decrease in the percent of positive PCR tests," officials said. "VDH reports labs by lab report date on our website. These results will be presented based on the actual date the laboratory reported the test result."
As of Friday's update, Virginia has reported 53,211 coronavirus cases. VDH data showed 5,445 people had been hospitalized and 1,534 people had died as a result of COVID-19-related illnesses.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.