Update: California Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the glitch has been fixed, but there remains a backlog of 250,000 to 300,000 cases to be processed.
“Those are test results,” he said. “We don’t know how many are positive or how many are negative.”
This may be the biggest screw-up so far by state government in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data on how many people have actually tested positive is wrong, possibly by a significant number.
“I would say right now we’re back to feeling blind. We don’t know how the epidemic is trending,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Sara Cody said today. “It’s not just inconvenient. This lack of data doesn’t allow us to know where this epidemic is heading, if it’s growing.”
The issue apparently stems from the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE). This is where California’s COVID-19 test data is sent and compiled. For a reason that the state describes only as a “serious technical issue” not all confirmed COVID-19 cases are in the state database.