The recent COVID-19 spike in Montour County — which has had more cases in the last week than in the first eight months of the pandemic — is likely due to an accounting error in tests sent out by Geisinger, officials said Monday.
State Department of Health spokesman Nate Wardle said Monday "a large health care provider" in Montour County sent out some tests to help return results faster because of a large volume of testing at the facility. The results, Wardle said, may have included the testing site address rather than the patient's address.
Monday afternoon, Geisinger spokesman Joe Stender said, "We’ve noticed those trends, as well, and we’re investigating the matter."
From March 21 — the date of the first case in the county — through Dec. 1, Montour County reported 476 cases. From Dec. 2 through Dec. 6, there were 579 cases reported. On Monday, the DOH announced just eight new cases in the county.
"The results came back as Montour County because not all of the patient information was collected when sent with the lab submission form," Wardle said. "The health care provider is working to enter in the addresses for many of the people tested in the county, and we do expect that number to change significantly over the next several days."