Dallas County officials reported 5,361 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, close to 5,200 of which came from a backlog of reports from the state health department Saturday.
The county health department said the majority of the 5,195 backlogged cases being reported Sunday — 4,298 — were from tests conducted in July, according to a provisional breakdown. 13 came from March, 149 from April, 80 from May, 52 from June and 603 from August, according to the county.
The new numbers drove the county's seven-day average of newly reported cases up from 605 to 1,251 and increased the 14-day average from 534 to 880.
Officials on Sunday also confirmed the county's 825th death from the coronavirus, a Dallas man in his 50s who had been critically ill in an area hospital. The man had underlying high-risk health conditions.
Dallas County now has a total of 63,428 cases of the coronavirus and 825 deaths. The county has also reported 2,515 total probable cases and 7 probable deaths related to COVID-19.
Dallas County does not report recoveries from COVID-19 because it lacks the manpower to follow up with thousands of patients, however, the Texas Department of State Health Services posts an estimated number of recoveries on its site and lists 78,164 for Dallas County as of Saturday, Oct. 10. Using data supplied by the state, there are an estimated 6,120 active COVID-19 cases in the county.
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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement that more batches of cases missed by the state's system will be reported in the coming days.
"Because of the errors, none of these 5,195 cases had been revealed to our public health team had any tracing done on them," Jenkins said. "That’s why it’s important also if you know you’re COVID-19 positive to inform all those you’ve been in close contact with so that they can self-isolate."
The effects of the backlog have been seen in other counties, including Tarrant, which on Saturday added more than 1,400 newly reported cases to its total. Of those, 1,151 of the cases were from the backlog and were from specimens collected more than 30 days ago, according to Tarrant County Public Health.
Lara Anton, press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, has said the latest backlog was the result of a coding error from three labs, which prevented lab results from being uploaded into the system.
As the errors were fixed, about 350,000 test results flooded in from one lab on Sunday and Monday, along with another 95,000 on Tuesday from another lab and about 60,000 on Saturday from the third lab, she said.
Anton said the backlog hasn't affected patients finding out whether they are positive for the coronavirus.