State Epidemiologist: Expect Jump In Cases From COVID Data Reporting Error

Apr 6, 2021

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oklahoma health officials say as the state moves COVID-19 case reporting off of the system known as PHIDDO, one lab had an undiscovered technical error for about six weeks.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor said that’s been sorted out. Most of the infections were actually acquired in January and February, but there will be an artificial increase in cases Wednesday because of the previously unreported ones.

"There will be a notable jump in the cases being reported of about 1,300 from this one-day reporting. Of course, this, again, does not reflect the dynamics of COVID-19 transmission throughout the state of Oklahoma in the recent time," Taylor said on Tuesday.

Taylor said with the state now reporting on a weekly cadence, such mistakes will be far less likely.

"I want to go on the record — there will be corrections, there will be additions, there will be things, just because it’s impossible to do this in real time and not have those," Taylor said.

Taylor declined to name the lab but said the data reporting lapse only affected state and county health departments.

"And so, there was an interruption in the ability to do case investigations and contact tracing, which we would have liked to have done otherwise. But this did not mean that, that information was not available to the patient, and it does not mean that, that information was not available to the care provider," Taylor said.

Taylor said the state will also show around 1,800 new investigated and confirmed deaths, as analysts have worked to close the gap between state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.

According to figures available Tuesday, more than 440,000 Oklahomans have tested positive for COVID-19. The illness has killed nearly 8,000, according to the CDC.