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Virginia Department of Health revises method of reporting COVID-19 test data

Virginia covid-19
(© Ingo Menhard –

To provide more accurate information about COVID-19 testing at the community level, the Virginia Department of Health will begin reporting COVID-19 data on testing encounters by health district using more accurate ZIP Code information.

The new data will impact 37,362 test results that were previously not assigned a health district designation because incomplete patient address information was reported to VDH.

Since May 1, VDH has reported testing encounters, which counts an individual person once per day as a measure of testing frequency and testing capacity. Because VDH often receives laboratory reports with incomplete information, those results were included in the statewide total, but were listed as missing geographic data and, as a result, did not appear in local health district counts.

Beginning May 30, VDH will report test encounter data using a tiered approach. If a test record is missing a patient address ZIP Code, the ordering provider’s ZIP Code will be used. If neither ZIP Code for the patient or ordering provider is available, the testing laboratory’s ZIP Code will be used.

By using the new data reporting method, testing encounter numbers will increase the health district figures as follows:

  • Alexandria by 699
  • Alleghany by 1,309
  • Arlington by 187
  • Central Shenandoah by 334
  • Central Virginia by 119
  • Chesapeake by 1,213
  • Chesterfield by 393
  • Chickahominy by 194
  • Crater by 892
  • Cumberland Plateauby 208
  • Eastern Shore by 312
  • Fairfax by 3,072
  • Hampton by 829
  • Henrico by 622
  • Lenowisco by 234
  • Lord Fairfax by 6,414
  • Loudoun by 1,234
  • Mount Rogers by 197
  • New River by 618
  • Norfolk by 2,536
  • Peninsula by 1,435
  • Piedmont by 106
  • Pittsylvania-Danville by 33
  • Portsmouth by 165
  • Prince William by 933
  • Rappahannock by 296
  • Rappahannock Rapidan by 454
  • Richmond by 3,541
  • Roanoke by 6,453
  • Southside by 212
  • Thomas Jefferson by 573
  • Three Rivers by 444
  • Virginia Beach by 187
  • West Piedmont by 330
  • Western Tidewater by 584

This improvement in how VDH presents data on testing encounters does not impact case data.

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