California's reported decline in infection rate may not be accurate, official says

California's reported decline in infection rate may not be accurate, official says

California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly on Tuesday said that the state’s decline in its coronavirus infection rate may not be accurate due to technical glitches in the state’s data system used to process test results.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomTrump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Evacuations ordered in California desert communities as wildfires burn Wildfire lectures from America's instructor-in-chief MORE (D) announced that California’s seven-day infection rate had dropped more than 20 percent in the span of a month to 6.1 percent. Ghaly said the technical issues “absolutely” have an impact on that figure. 

“The seven-day positivity rate is absolutely affected by this and as we continue to update the information we will certainly be updating the positivity rate,” Ghaly told reporters Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ghaly said his agency is working to adjust the figure manually. 

“Absolutely it will be hindered without this information and that’s why as we figure out the IT issues, we are in parallel working with our lab partners to get the same information in a manual form to local health officials,” he said. 

The undercount issue does not affect hospitalization and intensive care data, Ghaly said. Those figures have plateaued across California in recent days after the state experienced a surge in cases.  

Ghaly said California Department of Public Health officials are trying to determine “where data is getting stuck.” 

“We’re not sure when we’ll have a definitive fix to the problem,” he said.