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Undercount of COVID-19 cases in California likely due to problems with electronic reporting system

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — We’re following up with state leaders as problems continue to affect California’s electronic reporting system for diseases.

State officials have said this is likely leading to an undercount of COVID-19 cases.

After checking the COVID-19 data dashboards of every health department in California, we’re learning this issue is affecting dozens of counties.

Some counties even saying the impact is severe.

At least 23 counties across California say their COVID-19 data could be underreported because of issues with the state’s electronic reporting system for diseases.

The effects felt in county health departments all across the state. San Joaquin County’s dash board Thursday read the problem could date back to as early as July 27, saying “the data is severely delayed.”

In Sonoma County, health officials reportedly say its latest counts could be missing about 1/3 of its actual COVID-19 cases.

“This issue may impact our ability to receive all the lab reports in order to investigate cases, and contact trace to the extend that we’ve been doing and as quickly as we’ve been doing,” Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said.

State health leaders first acknowledged the problem Tuesday after California reported its lowest single day case counts since early July.

The issue mainly affects case counts, not actual test results, deaths or hospitalization and ICU numbers.

California health officials have yet to say when the problem will be fixed or what exactly caused the glitch.

The state relies on this data to make key reopening and closing decisions. 38 counties currently sit on the state’s community spread watch list.

We reached out to Governor Gavin Newsom for comment, but his office referred us to the department of public health. No word yet on when he’ll publicly address the problem.

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