Georgia updated COVID-19 site in wake of overwhelming data

The Georgia Department of Public Health's COVID-19 website was taken down by an influx of data in January, exposing an aging system in need of repair, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Jan. 24. 

The agency was unable to publish new COVID-19 data early in January as the omicron variant created another surge of cases. In addition, in April 2020 the agency's data on nursing home COVID-19 infections and deaths was found to be inaccurate as the health department knew the race or ethnicity of patients in fewer than seven in 10 confirmed cases. 

Years of underfunding have created the technology problems, according to the Journal-Constitution.

"Many of our public health systems, and most of our public health IT systems, are legacy systems that were never ever designed to handle millions and millions of data points," Kathleen Toomey, MD, Georgia's commissioner of public health, told the newspaper.

Lawmakers in the state approved $11.1 million in funding for a new online vaccination management system, which has since gone online, and budgeted $16 million for a new surveillance system.

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