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Dane Co. health dept. adds previously uncounted 17K negative tests to dashboard after backlog

Public Health Madison & Dane County has now added a previously uncounted 17,000 negative test results to its dashboard, thereby lowering the percent of positive cases in the county significantly this week.
Public Health Madison & Dane County
Public Health Madison & Dane County(Public Health Madison & Dane County)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Public Health Madison & Dane County has now added a previously uncounted 17,000 negative test results to its dashboard, thereby lowering the percent of positive cases in the county significantly this week.

The health department wrote on social media Friday that their priority has been to process positive tests and add those numbers to its online dashboard. That in turn delays the time to process negative tests and update those numbers on the dashboard.

That priority ended up creating a backlog of 17,000 negative tests that had not been fully processed or updated on the department’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The uncounted negative tests thus raised the percent of positive cases rate and lowered the daily test counts.

As of Friday, those 17,000 tests are now on the COVID-19 dashboard, an update that lowered the percent of positive tests this week to 2.1 percent.

Health officials said the week of July 13, the seven-day average of positive test results were 5.5-percent.

Public Health Madison & Dane County says it will now be including negative tests on the dashboard that have entered their database, but have not been processed by staff.

The percent of positive cases is a key statistic the health department uses to decide whether or not to advance into Phase 3 of the reopening plan. Dane County is currently in Phase 2 and requires that masks be worn in public.

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