Massachusetts surpasses 50K COVID-19 cases, death toll jumps after ‘reporting error’

Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBy ARIELLE MITROPOULOS and ELLA TORRES, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Confirmed cases and deaths under the novel coronavirus in Massachusetts saw a startling increase after a “reporting error.”

The number of people infected in the Bay State increased from 46,023 on Thursday to 50,969 by late Friday, according to the state’s Department of Health. The deaths climbed from 2,360 to 2,556.

Over the last 24 hours, state officials said there were 2,877 new positive novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, cases in Massachusetts, and 10,897 new tests completed.

However, the state is also reporting 4,946 new cases, and 20,137 newly completed tests since their last report on Thursday. Those numbers include a backlog of nearly 10,000 tests administered since April 13.

“Today’s data reflects a correction of a reporting error made by Quest, a national commercial laboratory, which affected case counts in multiple states including Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health received a backlog this week of almost 10,000 patient results (both positive and negative) from Quest dating back to April 13. These cases are included for the first time in today’s data,” state officials announced.

Of the deaths reported in the state, 1,429 of them — a staggering 55.9% — were reported in long-term care facilities, a jump of 113 deaths from Thursday’s reported numbers.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has not yet addressed the reporting error.

However, he had previously touted Quest for the lab’s ability to conduct a high numbers of tests at an accelerated rate.

On March 19, Baker visited the Quest facility in Marlborough, Massachusetts. He tweeted, “We are glad that Quest recently received approval to conduct this important testing, and we look forward to their ongoing work that will enable us to continue to ramp up testing capacity here in the Commonwealth.”

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