Backlog results in more than 5,000 COVID-19 cases added to Dallas County stats

Dallas County says a reporting error at the state level is the reason for a large dump of backlogged COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

More than 5,300 cases have now been added to Dallas County's case total, but almost all of those cases are from last month. The county reported 5,631 cases Sunday, but a much lower than usual 166 actual new cases were included in that number.

Because of the error, Dallas County health officials say there was no contact tracing done for more than 5,000 positive COVID-19 cases. The health department expects more backlog numbers to come in this week.

The county is classifying this issue as a coding error with the new state reporting system.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says now more than ever people need to continue to wear a mask and use social distancing.

“We don't know if two weeks ago or three weeks ago, the numbers were going down because of this mistake or because they were really going down. What the doctors believe is the masking is having a positive effect and the numbers are going down,” Jenkins said.

Dr. John Carlo, who is on the coronavirus task force for the Texas Medical Association, says while Sunday’s actual number is 166 -- the lowest since April -- that report could also not be accurate.

“If there was a backlog for the past month there may still be a backlog for today so I would hold off in making conclusions on today’s numbers especially what we are hearing about the backlog itself,” Carlo said. “Nothing changes from this case report, if anything it enhances the message that we still gotta keep doing what we are doing.”

With that backlog, Dallas County's case total is now at more than 63,000. Only one death was reported on Sunday.

Tarrant County also experienced a backlog Saturday and reported 680 new infections and eight deaths on Sunday. Collin and Denton County did not reporting their numbers Sunday.