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Ohio Department of Health clears backlog of antigen tests, causing one-day spike in case numbers

Today's numbers include a backlog of approximately 13,000 antigen test results.

OHIO, USA — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above is an expert from Gov. Mike DeWine's press briefing on Monday, December 9.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Department of Heath reported 25,721 new coronavirus cases in the state. The one-day spike is directly related to a change in how the state is reporting new cases. 

During Monday's press briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that, starting today, Ohio will begin reporting COVID-19 antigen testing results.  Today's numbers include a backlog of approximately 13,000 antigen test results dating back to November 1. 

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its definition for counting positive cases to include antigen results in August, Ohio had continued to manually verify exposures and symptoms before counting positive results from antigen testing in its caseloads. According to DeWine, the state has been averaging 12,500 antigen tests per day with a daily average of more than 700 positive results from those tests. 

“ODH is now aligned with CDC’s current definition and we will begin reflecting those tests immediately in our daily reported case counts moving forward,"  said ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff. 

The adoption of new case definitions simply allows for ODH to count probable cases from antigen tests in a more timely manner, which means all Ohioans will have a more accurate, real-time understanding of the spread of COVID-19.