(Photos by Tyrone Jue)

Glitch in state COVID data collection affects SF info

Recent issues with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic reporting system have led in San Francisco to temporarily suspend posting some COVID-19 data online, city officials said Thursday.

Counties across the state announced underreported COVID-19 case numbers early this week due to a glitch in the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE) disease reporting system. In response, CDPH has directed all laboratories to report positive COVID test results directly to county health departments until the issue is fixed.

San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management said the city’s positivity rate, case investigation and contact tracing were disrupted less than other counties’ metrics because of a March health order directing all laboratories testing San Francisco residents or conducting tests in San Francisco to report all results, both negative and positive, directly to the city. For now, however, the city will not publish data on testing, cases or contact tracing, considered Key Public Health Indicators, until the statewide issue is resolved.

Additionally, although the city’s COVID-19 Data Tracker will continue to update, it will include a note that cases are currently being underreported. City officials couldn’t estimate how long it would take to repair the glitch.

SFDEM officials said the glitch isn’t affecting people’s access to testing or their results.

“The delay in the state’s system may give an impression that COVID-19 cases are slowing down, when this may not be the case. As such, it is more important than ever that residents do everything they can to slow the transmission of the virus,” SFDEM said in a statement. Residents are urged to continue taking precautions like wearing required face coverings, avoiding crowds, practicing social distancing and regularly washing their hands.

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