A technical glitch that created a massive backlog of recording COVID-19 test results is fixed, but health experts say hundreds of thousands of missing test results is a stunning gap in critical data.
“The magnitude of the glitch took people by surprise,” said UCSF Doctor Peter Chin-Hong who said that until the data is entered, health officers won’t know if COVID cases are going up or down.
But he says hospital use indicates cases are not rising.
“The number of hospital and ICU beds used seems to be leveling off and stabilizing,” he said.
Bay Area counties eager to get off the state watch will be interested in the new case count when the missing test results are added to state totals.
A drop in new cases will move counties a step closer to reopening some businesses,
As the state works to restore an accurate count, experts say they will also have to restore public confidence.
“I think the biggest consequence of the error in reporting was in public trust and community trust,” said Chin-Hong.
In the meantime, the message to wear a mask and keep your distance remains.
State officials say they hope to avoid future glitches by creating an updated system.
“In order to create a lasting solution, we are accelerating the development of a new lab reporting system for COVID-19,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services director.