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Nevada state officials blame data entry errors for inaccurate COVID-19 case counts

Nevada state officials blame data entry errors for inaccurate COVID-19 case counts
© Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Nevada state officials working with the Department of Corrections are placing blame on data entry errors for inaccurately reported COVID-19 case counts.

On Friday, Nevada's prison system along with the Department of Health and Human Services released a statement admitting that inaccuracies were found in the data reported on the state's coronavirus dashboard, The Associated Press reported.

According to records obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, coronavirus case counts declined by 268 last week.

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“Incorrect identification of facilities resulted in duplicate entries, coding issues and the inclusion of negative COVID-19 test results which were then posted to the dashboard as confirmed positive cases,” the health department said in the statement.

While health department spokeswoman Shannon Litz stated that the errors occurred recently, some were found to date back weeks, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Litz also stated that she believes the errors were the result of poor organization of testing kits used at some facilities.

“Some kits were shared among neighboring facilities, and the results were assigned to the wrong institution,” she said. “[The Nevada Department of Corrections] has reviewed the data and assigned the results by name of the test recipient rather than by test kit.”

The data showed a total of 4,473 confirmed coronavirus cases among inmates and 966 staff cases as of Friday, the AP reported.

“The departments are working together to ensure there are no gaps in reporting or understanding of the reporting systems going forward,” Litz said.