Arkansas’ COVID-19 testing data discrepancies addressed

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Could Arkansans have "testing fatigue?"

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Keeping track of positive and negative COVID-19 cases in Arkansas hit a snag when Washington and Benton Counties test results dropped by the thousands earlier this month.

Governor Asa Hutchinson explained that one lab only sent positive test results and not the negative results, causing the drop in numbers.

On Tuesday, August 25, Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said test numbers from Monday, August 24, were low because of “lack of demand [by Arkansans].” Dr. Romero said they’re coming up with a way to increase testing.

The state dropped to its lowest level of testing since June 1.

Either way, whether only half of the tests were sent to the state earlier this month causing a drop in testing or fewer people are getting tested, Dr. Romero said it’s important to keep “robust testing” because that is how the state will know the pandemic’s level of impact.

Hutchinson and Romero said they are aware of the fluctuation in reporting the state’s COVID-19 data and they would prefer for the numbers to be more stable and not to “seesaw,” Dr. Romero said.

As of Tuesday, the state has 57,374 cumulative COVID-19 cases with more than 50,000 recoveries and 711 deaths.

Currently, there are four counties with 20 or more cases: Pulaski, 80; Faulkner, 41; Sebastian, 38; Saline, 22.

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