California has stopped removing or adding to a list of counties facing more restrictions on businesses and schools as it tries to determine the impact of an unresolved technical issue with the state’s coronavirus testing database, health officials said Wednesday. -Nation 525,000 positive tests. But California health officials say the true number is even higher. They don’t know how much until they can add backlog data from testing and fix the California Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) problem. Incomplete data in the country’s most populous country hampers the ability of government officials to monitor those who test positively and connect with people who have been around them to limit the spread. | MORE | Q&A: Expert explains how problems can occur in reporting data for COVID-1
California has stopped removing or adding to a list of counties facing more restrictions on businesses and schools as it tries to determine the impact of an unresolved technical issue with the state’s coronavirus testing database, health officials said Wednesday.
The state has recorded the country’s highest 525,000 positive tests. But California health officials say the true number is even higher. They don’t know how much until they can add blocked test data and fix the California Reference Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) problem.
Incomplete data in the country’s most populous country make it difficult for public health officials to track those who experience positive contacts and connect with people around them to limit the spread.
| MORE | Questions and Answers: The expert explains how problems can occur in reporting data for COVID-19
“In February and March, when we didn’t have enough tests, I would say we felt blind,” said Dr. Sarah Cody, director of public health in Santa Clara County. “I would say we are blind again now. We do not know how the epidemic is. “
In Los Angeles County, which has a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, public health officials have reached out to labs to get test data directly so they don’t depend on the state. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s health director, said she hoped there would be an updated number of cases by the end of the week.
The CalREDIE system collects data from testing laboratories in California. The state uses data as infection rates to determine which cities land on a watch list. Districts need to leave the list in 14 days to be able to reopen some businesses and offer instruction in the primary school classroom. The list includes 38 counties, including Los Angeles and every other major county.
In a statement, the state Department of Public Health said it was working to “assess the impact of data problems on disease transmission indicators” and that no county would be moved to or off the list “until further notice”.
The problem comes as California appears to be making progress against the jump in infections that led Governor Gavin Newsom to close bars and restaurants indoors across the country last month and close school campuses in much of the state. On Wednesday, the state reported only 5,300 new cases of viruses, far from the peak of nearly 13,000 reported about two weeks ago.
The state’s infection rate, a harbinger of how many hospitalizations are likely to increase, has fallen sharply in the last week, when the data problem became apparent. It was 5.5% on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether when additional data is added, the decline will be so bright.
Meanwhile, hospitalization data show improvement. It collects differently and has dropped by more than 12% to 684 patients in the last two weeks.
County health officials say it is difficult to know where the virus is going without knowing how many cases are missing.
In Riverside County, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said the cases of viruses in the county were already frozen at a level too high for primary schools to refuse to reopen classrooms. Kaiser told school officials in a letter that the state will not accept denials until the county has a reliable percentage of cases and this is below the level allowed by the state – 200 cases per 100.00 inhabitants. The value of Riverside is now 202.
In San Francisco, public health officials receive test reports directly from laboratories, so they don’t depend on the state to track or track cases, said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. But long delays can make contact tracking – seen as a critical means of halting the spread of the disease – useless, he said.
“In terms of fighting the disease, the more people walk around infected and infectious without isolating themselves, the more people will be exposed,” he said.
In Los Angeles County, Ferrer urged anyone who feels positive to call county health officials so they can conduct a follow-up interview and identify those who may have been exposed to avoid infecting others.
“We’re really worried about losing some cases and that this could actually lead to a slight increase in broadcasts in the coming weeks,” she said.
Associated Press writer Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco and Adam Beam in Sacramento contributed to the report.