COVID-19 Case Count Rises by 86, But Numbers Are Skewed by Timing of Reports

Coronavirus illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 86 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Wednesday, but the agency said the number was artifically low because of the timing of its posting of the numbers.

The report brought the state’s total number of confirmed cases to 118,220. The state had reported 982 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, but ADPH said in an email that some of the cases that normally would have gone into Wednesday’s update were included in the previous day’s listing.

The agency also said a total of 10,019 cases are listed as probably being from COVID-19. It said on Twitter that, in accordance with case definitions of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the department is now listing persons with positive antigen tests as probable cases of COVID-19. “Thus, the Alabama Department of Public Health expects to see more probable cases with increasing use of another laboratory method to detect SARS-CoV-2,” the Tweet explained.

Wednesday’s updated figures showed an additional 12 deaths, raising the total to 2,114 since the pandemic began. Another 103 deaths were listed as probable COVID cases.

A listing of the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths for each of the state’s 67 counties is not being included in this report because of questions about the figures for several counties. Efforts to reach officials for further explanation were unsuccessful.