California still struggling with COVID-19 data-reporting inaccuracies

California's coronavirus reporting system has suffered from a technical glitch in the last week, leading to underreported cases. Some counties have stopped updating their COVID-19 dashboards with the inaccurate data, while others are trying to track the virus spread manually with spreadsheets, according to a report from The Mercury News.

The reporting glitch affects COVID-19 case counts and positivity rates; hospitalizations and death rates attributed to COVID-19 are still accurate, according to the report. The California Reportable Disease Information Exchange is designed to collect and report data, but the privately owned platform that feeds lab reports into the system had a data overload.

Mark Ghaly, MD, California's health department secretary, said his team is working around the clock to make sure data is accurate and updated, and the department will release a report about the glitch after the problem is resolved.

The glitch was first identified in late July, and labs have been providing data manually since then for the state to send to counties in a spreadsheet. But when officials from San Mateo County examined the data, they found results from Utah and Nevada along with their own.

San Francisco officials have stopped reporting COVID-19 cases because of the glitch.

On Aug. 5, The Press Democrat reported that up to one-third of the coronavirus cases in Sonoma County were not counted due to the reporting issues.

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