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Chesapeake health officials: Not everyone's COVID-19 test getting recorded

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Hampton Roads. Health Officials say they worry that some places are not reporting data to an electronic system.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Coronavirus cases are climbing. Chesapeake Health Director, Dr. Nancy Welch, said the virus is being transmitted though community spread right now. 

She said it’s because she believes people have become lax on mitigation efforts. 

“It’s already uphill. It’s already trying to surge,” she said. “We know that 50% of people can be asymptotic, but they are the super spreaders.”

As more people get tested ahead of the holiday season, Welch worried some rapid test results were not getting entered into an electronic system.

“I don’t see, I do not believe that all of the tests are being reported,” she said.

Welch said it’s because pharmacies, clinics and urgent care centers are overwhelmed. Thousands of people are getting tested for COVID-19 every single day.

“They are not reporting it,” Welch explained. "They may talk with the patient who had the test and they discuss with the patient, but it doesn’t go any further than that.”

Welch said the reporting problems create a range of issues, including inaccurate data. That data is crucial in helping the health department make decisions for the community.

“There are probably more positive tests that are being reported than negative tests, but that also means that our positivity rate is skewed," she said. "The denominator on positivity rate is a combination of the positive plus negative.”

RELATED: COVID-19 Live Updates | NC sees 3,688 new cases; 2,500 more cases for Virginia

Welch said while officials work out the kinks, people need to remember this virus is still spreading. She said keep wearing your mask and social distancing to stay safe.

As people head to visit family during the holidays, Welch said people need to be extremely cautious.

If you have been exposed to someone with coronavirus, you should still quarantine even after receiving a negative COVID-19 test. 

Welch said it can take several days for symptoms to show, and to see a positive test.

Credit: Chesapeake Health Department
COVID-19 incubation timeline from the Chesapeake Health Department