Murphy Blames Downward Trend in COVID-19 Positives on Bad Lab Data, “Noise”

TRENTON, NJ –  Governor Phil Murphy on Monday said COVID-19 testing data errors led to a weekend spike in COVID-19 positives that actually never occurred.

“We’ve got some noise in our data, I think you and I believe today, right? An additional 177 positives, the cumulative number of positives, 176,963,” Murphy said. “One of our private labs is having some data reporting issues which I think skew that number a little bit. Statewide positivity 2.8%, that’s down from Sunday which was 3.5%, up a little bit. That number also may be skewed by the labs, but it probably shouldn’t be unless that lab was, for whatever reason, processing an overwhelming higher percentage of positives or it was fishing in some negatives, that should not be impacted.”

“We cannot ignore the fact that many states are right now living what we live throughout March and April, so we cannot let up because we know this virus can rebound,” Murphy said.

“The department is experiencing a problem receiving Quest laboratory results electronically, and their results are not included in today’s numbers,” said Judith Persichilli, who needs no introduction. “That may be causing our case numbers to be lower than expected. We are working to resolve this problem which may require uploading this data manually and it will be represented in future reports. The daily percent positivity as of July 16th is 2.80 for New Jersey. That’s 2.63 in the North, 2.24 Centrally, and 4.11 in the South.”

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