The total number of COVID-19 cases in Alabama eclipsed the 150,000 mark on Friday, and the number of deaths approached the 2,500 level, according to the state Department of Public Health.
The agency added 798 confirmed cases and 1,654 probable cases to its dashboard Friday, pushing its totals to 134,231 confirmed cases and 16,427 probable cases. The total since the pandemic began in March is 150,658 overall. There were eight new deaths Friday, increasing deaths to 2,357 confirmed and 134 probable for a total of 2,491.
Those numbers were not all from the latest 24-hour period, however, but included some results from the past, the department said.
In a statement posted on its website, ADPH said two large labs that previously had not been familiar with mandatory reporting requirements had transmitted data, including antigen tests, to the state on Thursday, increasing “our daily numbers, including probables.”
“When ADPH becomes aware of a new lab performing SARS-CoV2 testing, ADPH educates the labs regarding uploading data in a timely, accurate electronic format.
“As these labs were not reporting to ADPH until they understood the requirements, their data contains older reports, which increases case numbers,” the statement said. “ADPH continues to make all efforts possible to identify new labs and bring them into the electronic reporting process in order to capture the positive and negative labs for case investigation and data accuracy.”
Also in Friday’s daily update, the Health Department changed the way it reported cases and deaths for each of the state’s 67 counties. In the past, the list of counties included the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths. The listings on Friday showed total numbers of cases and deaths – including confirmed and probable – and the number of individuals tested.
ADPH defines a confirmed case as one in which a person has a positive test for COVID-19. A probable case is when a person has been exposed to someone with the disease and has symptoms but has not been tested. Probables also include those who have had rapid antigen tests, which the agency said are less sensitive and show more false negative results than laboratory tests.