A glitch in California’s disease registry system (CalREDIE) has created a backlog of 250,000 to 300,000 records causing an underreporting of some coronavirus cases, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a briefing on Friday.
While the majority of these records may be coronavirus results, Ghaly explained that it includes duplicate records, both positive and negative test results, and records for any other reportable diseases.
A server outage on July 25 created a delay in lab records going into the state’s lab reporting system, Ghaly said. While temporary technical changes were implemented to allow the records to flow into the system more quickly, these changes were not disabled later which caused a further delay in reporting lab data and creating an extensive backlog, he explained.
The state also learned that they were not receiving data from one of its largest commercial lab for five days between July 31 through Aug. 4, “due to a certificate that the state neglected to renew timely,” Ghaly said.
According to Ghaly, Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed a full investigation into the issue.
“Throughout the pandemic, the CalREDIE data reporting system has been challenged by the volume of Covid-19 data,” Ghaly said. “Simply put, the CalREDIE system was not built for this volume of data.”
Ghaly expects to see a normalization of data in 24 to 48 hours. After working through the backlog, the state will have a better understanding of the statewide epidemiological curve and the future state of hospitalizations.
The glitch in the system did not impact any data on hospitalizations or deaths, according to Ghaly who believes the trend line has been “stabilizing and coming down.”