Coronavirus Reporting Glitch Causes Headaches for State, Counties, and Schools

The state’s top health official said last week that technical difficulties have resulted in a lag in California’s coronavirus testing numbers. California’s current tally of cases therefore represents “an underreporting of actual positive cases,” according to the state’s website.

Recent Data show a decline in the number of cases in California. But Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state isn’t receiving the full number of tests performed or diagnosed as positive because of the computer glitch. On Tuesday, ABC 7 news reported that “Wendy Hetherington, Riverside County's chief of epidemiology and program evaluation, said she believes hundreds of cases a day haven't been reported in her county since late last week.”

Hospital data is not subject to the technical issues and is still showing signs of progress. But any lag in case reporting makes it more difficult for California to gauge and control the spread.

It’s also affecting the school reopening process. As accurate case data stopped flowing to the state and its counties, California stopped adding and removing counties from its monitoring list. In order to reopen schools, a county must remain off that list for a period of fourteen days.