TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — UPDATE: The Florida Department of Health on Monday said it determined the data delay was due to a technical issue and not the fault of the agency or private lab Helix Laboratory.
Today's daily COVID-19 report is going to be delayed, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The state DOH is citing a submission of approximately 400,000 previously-reported coronavirus test results from Helix Laboratory as the cause for the delay. Helix Laboratory is a private lab that is not affiliated with the state of Florida, according to a release.
"The massive size of the data file and the need to de-duplicate hundreds of thousands of results prevented the Department of Health's automatic reporting system from processing yesterday's results as it normally does," the DOH said.
State epidemiologists are currently working to reconcile the data which will take a day to finish, allowing reports to resume Sunday.
The state stressed that this reporting issue is not related to notifying individuals of their test results. This is due to the notification of test results being in the hands of the lab or entity that offered the test to you.
"The Department remains committed to providing Floridians with the most accurate, up-to-date COVID-19 testing and surveillance information available," the DOH said.
Helix is a genomics company that developed a "highly automated COVID-19 test system," according to its website. Helix claims that it was working on being able to process up to 100,000 tests a day, making them "one of the nation's largest COVID-19 testing laboratories."
Without today's updated data, Floridians only have Friday's data dump to rely on for state-reported COVID-19 information at this time. In that report, the state says it received 75,582 tests returned from labs for Oct. 8.
It also shows that Helix Laboratory returned a total of 64,582 test results, with Helix Diagnostics returning a total of 6 as of Oct. 8, regardless of if the test was positive, negative or inconclusive. The chart documenting this data is said to "represent the number of Florida and non-Florida residents for whom test results were received by the Department of Health."
10 Tampa Bay has reached out to Gov. Ron DeSantis' office and Helix Laboratory for additional information.
This issue, while rooted in re-reporting data comparatively to the lack of reporting data, is not the first test result dump that has led to complications with the state's COVID-19 report.
Last month Florida cut ties with Quest Diagnostics after the state said it failed to report nearly 75,000 COVID-19 test results, some of which dated back to April.
“It’s the most egregious dump we’ve had,” DeSantis said at the time.
This is a developing story. Check back with 10 Tampa Bay for updates.
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