Backlogged coronavirus test data could shift Virginia numbers

The Virginia Department of Health says new data being added to its coronavirus dashboard starting Tuesday will cause an influx of numbers — but that’s due to backlogged tests being added.

Information from 13,000 additional tests is due to hit the dashboard over the coming days.

What contributed to the backlog? Relying on fax machines.

“A Richmond-area laboratory had previously been providing test results via fax, which had to be entered manually by VDH staff, contributing to the backlog,” the agency said in a release.

“VDH staff had prioritized positive test results, which means the remaining backlog largely includes negative tests. The lab is now submitting test results electronically.”

According to the release, digital reporting has significantly alleviated efforts to get through the backlog, which VDH is still working to eliminate.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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