Recent coronavirus figures reported by the Orange County Health Care Agency may be unreliable due to technology glitches and a lag in lab reports, according to the agency and the California Department of Health.
Over the past few days, the state health department has issued an alert that there has been an issue processing electronic labs, which may have resulted in fewer tests and cases.
And on Thursday, the county health department said a technology glitch caused a recent duplication of tests, which resulted in the removal of more than 1,300 tests today.
The reporting of testing and cases is already volatile in nature, as previously explored by the Business Journal, with the county noting that new case figures can fluctuate greatly based on delays in reporting.
The county posts the number of positive cases reported to the agency that day, which is not an accurate indication of new case trends as those figures could pertain to dates from more than one month ago.
It’s not fully clear what causes longer-than-typical reporting delays, but it’s likely in part due to the various ways in which the county receives data; sometimes it’s through a straightforward digital communication, other times it’s by phone, physical mail, or even fax machines.
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