The reported daily new case total in the state soared by nearly 5,000 infections from Monday to Tuesday.
On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom said there were 7,751 new cases in the state. That’s a substantial drop from about 10,000 two weeks ago, just before the data errors began to take effect.
On Tuesday, the state reported 12,500 new cases, a curiously round number that is just 307 new cases shy from the state’s all-time daily high. That was 12,807, reported on July 22, just a week before the state’s reporting system was impacted by the errors of state officials.
The percentage day-over-day jump in reported new infections from Monday to Tuesday is about 38 percent.
Tuesday’s new cases were accompanied by the following disclaimer on the state COVID-19 dashboard: “Today’s case counts include backlogged cases that would have been reported in earlier days and weeks and are not an accurate representation of cases reported in the prior 24 hours.”
The state reported 109 new deaths on Tuesday, for a total of 10,468 since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations and ICU stays related to COVID were both down less than a pecent.
On Friday, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly held a news conference and admitted that multiple errors on the state’s part had caused a backlog of 250,000-300,000 records in its case data reporting system. That system is used primarily to parse and distribute coronavirus data.
The error caused an undercount in the state’s daily new COVID-19 cases data for the past two weeks, said Ghaly. Hospital counts and deaths were apparently not impacted.
The data disaster is particularly embarrassing for the governor, who is fond of saying “data is foundational” to his coronavirus decisions.
Newsom said on Monday that the system is decades old, one “we inherited,” and not up to the demands of a pandemic. He said the state has “data bases that were never made for the world we live in.”
“We are committed to addressing these foundational data issues,” said the governor, before promising a “stubborn, long term, grinding effort” to create a system that works.
“We’re not going to just…band aid this,” said Newsom. “We are now accountable, accountable to be transparent in these things.
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