Questions arise over California's data reporting error

Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 22:11:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — State officials responded earlier this week to a technical glitch that impacted as many as 300,000 COVID-19 test results being reported.

"We are committed to the medium and long term to address these foundational data issues so that we can approve our importance and our customer service," Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this week.

Counties across the state felt the impact of the data inaccuracies.

Local leaders use numbers and science to guide decision making. But are counties themselves having any issues with the numbers?

In Kern County, public health officials were asked at the end of July if they're 100% sure no one is getting double-counted. The county says they have had to go back and subtract some people from the total number of cases when they realized they counted that person more than once, but stress that's rare.

In San Diego and San Luis Obispo Counties, officials said they're confident in the daily numbers they are reporting to the public.

"I'm quite confident our numbers are accurate. Before we had web CMR and our tests are not all phoned through CalREDIE. Our test results are reported directly to the county," County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said. "The only issue which you already know about is the glitch with Quest which was going through the state and then coming to us so we are fairly confident our information is accurate."

A spokesperson for San Luis Obispo County says they are confident in the number of positive cases reported:

"We regularly run data queries on our positive case results to search for duplicates. On occasions, duplicates have been detected and counts adjusted appropriately."

ABC 10News asked the California Department of Public Health about data accuracy, duplicates, and decision making. They did not respond to our request for comment.