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Texas Counties Work To Correct Mistakes In State’s Coronavirus Data – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For each resident who tests positive for COVID-19, a county’s number of confirmed cases should go up by one.

Some counties, though, have found mistakes in the data they’re receiving from labs through the Texas Health Trace system.

“We have to go through, research and double check each line,” said Samantha Pickett, Ellis County’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

Ellis County on Friday reported it’s had a total of 2,390 residents test positive.

The state reports Ellis County has had 2,452, a difference of several dozen.

“We receive age, gender, addresses,” said Pickett.

Sometimes those addresses, she’s discovered, fall outside county lines.

Other times, she says, a case will show up more than once.

“You’ll see the same address, same person, same gender, we’ll just count one and remove the duplicate,” said Pickett.

Collin County likewise announced last week it was decreasing its case count by 6% to 10% because of “duplicates and out of county cases that have come through the state’s Texas Health Trace system.”

“We don’t want to put out misinformation, but when you’re getting bad information already, it’s kind of hard,” said Pickett.

With some members of the public already skeptical of COVID-19 data, Pickett says she’s working up to 14 hours a day to make sure she’s got it right.

“It’s saddening to see the distrust that the public sees and we feel for them on that because we’re in the same boat, we wish we had accurate information so we could make the most informed decisions,” said Pickett.

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services says a software upgrade taking effect Friday night should fix some of the issues.

Counties, though, are also seeing a discrepancy in the number of deaths being reported.

The state began using death certificates this week for that data.

As of Friday, it’s reporting Ellis County has had 33 COVID-19 deaths

The county only knows about 22, and it’s still trying to figure out why that is.


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