Georgia Department of Public Health temporarily removes column on PCR test data due to glitch

image of coronavirus with "coronas" or crowns extending outward from a sphereImage of coronavirus from CDC/Alissa Eckert, MSMI; Dan Higgins, MAMS

The Georgia Department of Public Health has suspended its reporting on PCR COVID-19 test data from the column in which it normally appears in the Daily Status Report due to a glitch. The number is still available as described below.

The GDPH released the following press release about the problem:

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working to address an issue with the COVID-19 testing numbers on the Daily Status Report. This issue only affects the PCR/Molecular Reported Today column of the COVID-19 Testing table; no other data in the Daily Status Report is impacted. Until the issue can be fixed, we will temporarily remove the PCR/Molecular Reported Today column of the COVID-19 Testing table.

Following an update to the data system yesterday, more than 2.6 million tests were incorrectly added to the PCR/Molecular Reported Today column of the COVID-19 Testing table. These were not new tests or new positive results, nor were they a backlog of tests. These tests and results have been included in the Total PCR/Molecular test column since testing began in Georgia – a coding error caused a miscount of the tests reported yesterday.

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Until the issue with the PCR/Molecular Reported Today column of the COVID-19 Testing table is resolved, the daily percent positive can be found by hovering over the map of Georgia or in the “COVID-19 Over Time” graph.

We are actively working to resolve this issue to ensure we are providing accurate and transparent data about COVID-19 in Georgia. We ask for your continued patience as we address this issue.

To read an explanation of what PCR testing is, and its differences with antigen testing, read the following article, “What’s The Difference Between A PCR And Antigen COVID-19 Test? A Molecular Biologist Explains”

For more data on COVID in Cobb County and statewide

Cobb & Douglas Public Health runs the case rate on their home page, although it is not updated frequently.

Visit the Cobb & Douglas Public Health home page by following this link

A more frequently updated summary of the statistics on COVID for Cobb County is the CDC’s County View page for Cobb County. The numbers come from the Georgia Department of Public Health but are displayed in a much easier-to-read way than the sprawling GDPH website. From this page you can get the one-week figures on the number of new cases, case rate per 100,000 of population, hospitalizations, deaths, and the percentage change from the previous 7-day period. It also includes data on testing and vaccination rates.

Visit the CDC County View page for Cobb County by following this link

The Georgia Department of Public Health publishes a daily status report on the pandemic every afternoon at around 3 p.m. It’s a comprehensive report with extensive data and charts arranged statewide and by county, that also includes age breakdowns, racial demographics, and data on vaccination and testing.

It isn’t the easiest system to navigate, but it’s worth spending time learning how to use if you’re interested in getting the latest statewide and local data on the state of COVID-19.

Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report by following this link

To get an overview of how much the pandemic is stressing the hospital systems in terms of ER visits, hospital bed capacity, and ventilator use, there is a Hospital Bed and Ventilator Use report with interactive maps. The map is organized by hospital region, and Cobb County is part of Region N.

Visit the Georgia Hospital Beds and Ventilator Report by following this link

To get data on what percentage of patients in Georgia hospitals were admitted for COVID-19 versus all other causes, there is a Georgia Medical Facility Patient Census. It also reports numbers by statewide and hospital region.

Visit the Georgia Medical Facility Patient Census by following this link

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