ARIZONA NEWS

Lab giant Sonora Quest missing from Arizona’s COVID-19 report

Jun 29, 2020, 8:39 AM | Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 7:44 am
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

This is a regularly updated story with the latest information, news and updates about the coronavirus and its impact in Arizona and beyond for Monday, June 29.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services said its Monday morning COVID-19 report was incomplete because a lab partner did not meet the daily data submission deadline.

A Sonora Quest Laboratories executive told KTAR News 92.3 FM that her company was the one left out of the latest state report.

“Due to the volume of results that were being processed over the weekend, there was a slight delay in reporting numbers,” Sonya Engle, the lab’s chief operating officer, told KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s Griselda Zetino. “That has been corrected and all the new results have since been reported.”

Engle said the lab performs about 80% of Arizona’s diagnostic testing for COVID-19. She also said Sonora Quest was instituting additional measures to ensure future results are submitted on time.

She said the company submitted 2,454 positive tests from Sunday. Health department spokesman Chris Minnick said that isn’t necessarily the actual shortfall because the state puts the data through a verification process before adding it to the database.

Monday’s incomplete daily report showed just 625 new coronavirus cases with no new deaths, putting the state’s documented totals at 74,533 cases and 1,588 deaths.

The department said the data would be caught up with Tuesday morning’s update, which will result in larger than expected numbers. The department tweeted about the issue before numbers were posted Monday, but the online COVID-19 dashboard made no mention of the glitch.

Until Monday’s incomplete report, the state had reported at least 3,000 new cases for four consecutive days.

Minnick said Monday’s reporting issue impacted only test and case data on the website. The numbers on hospitalizations and bed capacity, as well as the report of zero new deaths, accurately reflect the latest data, he said.

Maricopa County Public Health reported two new deaths Monday, increasing the Phoenix-area total to 712. The county information can differ from the state numbers because their reports are compiled at different times.

The state health department has been providing case and testing updates on its website each morning. The dashboard includes, among other information, testing trends, updated hospital capacity and a ZIP code map of cases.

The daily reports present data after the state receives statistics and compiles them, which can lag by several days. They aren’t meant to represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours.

Arizona’s reported cases have been rising at a faster rate than testing has increased, prompting officials to implement new policies regarding face masks and restaurant operations.

There have been more than 511,000 PCR tests for active infections given in Arizona, including 1,524 added to the total Monday. Of the tests processed, 11.7% have come back positive, the same rate as Sunday.

The positive PCR rate has been surging upward since the beginning of the month. It was 11.4% on Saturday and had been 6.7% on May 31.

Of the PCR samples collected last week that have been processed, 20% have come back positive, the highest percentage of any week.

The weekly PCR positive rate has risen every week since the week starting May 10, when it was 5%.


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Lab giant Sonora Quest missing from Arizona’s COVID-19 report