Technical glitch causes issue in state COVID-19 reporting

California faces backlog in processing COVID-19 tests
Posted at 12:06 AM, Aug 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-08 03:07:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- State health officials are working to catch up on a large backlog of COVID-19 tests.

According to Marik Ghaly, California'sCalifornia's Health and Human Services Secretary, a server outage on July 25 led to a delay in lab records coming into the reporting system.

Ghaly says they also realized they weren't getting data from one of their largest commercial labs for five days, between July 31 and August 4, because the state neglected to renew a certification.

"We apologize. You deserve better. The Governor demands better of us,"" Ghaly said during a Friday virtual news conference.

Ghaly says there are an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 tests that need to be processed, and that will happen in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The system accepts results for other reportable diseases, so the records have to sorted, Ghaly said, though adding that a majority will be COVID-19 test samples.

"We expect that over the next 24 to 48 hours that the backlog that's between 250 to 300 thousand cases will be resolved giving us a better sense of the number of tests that were delayed," Ghaly said. "We are reporting this data to the counties based on the date the specimen was collected so we can attribute it to the appropriate date."

Ghaly points out the state froze the county monitoring list last week, so the problem should have affected any decision-making policies. He also says it doesn't change any state trends with case rates, which he says are still trending downwards slightly.

However, it's unclear how the delay in reporting will impact contact tracing.

The Governor has ordered an investigation into the error.