Auditor debunks claims of duplicates in Louisiana virus data

State News

Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are counted before they are prepared for RNA testing at the molecular pathology lab at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The test is identical to the PCR test being used by the Centers for Disease Control to ease the testing crisis and stop the spread of COVID-19, which has hit the New Orleans area especially hard. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s legislative auditor found two rural parishes’ claims that the state was double-counting their positive coronavirus tests in the official tally of cases was unfounded.

The report from Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office upended theories pushed in conservative circles that the data is being skewed to make the outbreak appear worse than it is.

Purpera’s nonpartisan agency says the case statistics reported on the Louisiana Department of Health’s online coronavirus dashboard “are generally correct.”

Purpera’s office determined that the health department’s review processes for finding and removing duplicates appeared to work and that Red River and DeSoto parish officials were misunderstanding the information they received.

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