Santa Clara County Health Officer ‘Anxious’ About Inaccurate COVID-19 Data

Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara’s top health leader, voiced concerns about the accuracy of the counties current COVID-19 rates in a press conference Wednesday.

Cody explained CalREDIE, also known as California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, is used by the state and local health departments to tally virus results, but there have been technical issues as far back as mid-July. The problem seems to be the juncture between electronic laboratory reports coming in and them being routed into the data collection system.

When the glitch is fixed the Dr. Cody said the county, “Expects that all these numbers are going to go up, to what extent we don’t know.”

KTVU reported, “Santa Clara County went through of period of law case counts between April and May, sometimes reporting only one new case. But as the county lifted restrictions in June, health officials noticed a gradual increase in COVID-19 rates that began to accelerate through mid-July. But then, out of nowhere in mid-July, virus infections started to decline. Cody said data for the last few weeks of July could be an undercount as a result of technical issues with the state’s data reporting system.”

As businesses slowly begin to reopen and people want to leave their house more Cody warned, “COVID is still here, it is still very much a threat and it’s circulating widely in our community.”

“Each of us still needs to do everything that we can to bring it under control. There’s a lot that we don’t know about the virus but there’s a lot that we do know. One of the most important things that we can do is to always wear a face covering,” continued Cody.

She went on to say leaving the house without a face mask, “Should feel weird” and, “Feel like being in a car without a seatbelt.” She recommended when gathering with people you do not live with, outside is always better than inside.

According to the CDC, Santa Clara has 10,986 total coronavirus cases and 2,997 new cases in the last 14 days. The county has had 192 total deaths and 14 deaths in the last 14 days. But, the website says, “Note: Due to issues with the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system, these data represent an underreporting of actual positive cases in one single day.”

“We just don’t know. We don’t know if or cases are rising, plateauing, or decreasing. We are very anxious for this issue to get resolved.” Expressed Dr. Sara Cody during Wednesday’s news conference.

Cody explained the turn around times vary dramatically, as some labs only take 24-48 hours, but others take over a week, which she said was unacceptable. California is working on the issues but does not have a date as to when it will be resolved.

Watch the entire press conference below.


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