As we learn more about the state’s COVID-19 test reporting glitch, county public health officers are speaking out about how they are working around the issue.
Sonoma County health officer Dr. Sundari Mase said as many as a third of the recent cases may not have been counted as a result of a technical error in the state’s electronic reporting system.
"This issue may impact our ability to receive all of the lab reports in order to investigate cases and to contact trace to the extent that we’ve been doing and as quickly as we’ve been doing," she said.
But labs are now reporting tests manually, "in order to make sure that patients are being notified that they are positive as quickly as possible, so that they can be isolated and so that their contacts can be identified and quarantined," said Dr. Mase.
Dr. Sara Cody with Santa Clara County explained the issue could have been going on since mid-July, which means the recently reported drop in new cases could be an improvement that exists only on paper.
Dr. Cody added that once the reporting system is fixed, the case count will certainly rise, the only question is by how much.
While the issue has impacted public health officials’ ability to track the spread of the virus, Dr. Mase said it has not affected patient care and denies that individuals have had their results delayed because of the issue.