CA prepping new COVID-19 tracking system after huge backlog; three new deaths in SCV

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California is developing a new COVID-19 tracking system after glitches in the current one have resulted in a backlog of hundreds of thousands of test results, to which Los Angeles County’s case undercount is attributed, per Public Health officials. 

On Friday, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary, said Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for a full investigation into a July 25 server outage that has caused a delay  of between 250,000 and 300,000 records. 

“Our data system failed and that failure led to inaccurate case numbers and case positivity rates,” he said. “Simply put, the CalRedie system was not built for this volume of data. In order to create a lasting solution, we are accelerating the development of a new laboratory reporting system for COVID-19.” 

While not all of the records are test samples, most are and officials are working to eliminate any potential duplicates, he said, adding that the backlog is expected to be resolved over the next 24 to 48 hours. 

Despite the lag, Ghaly said the downward trends in new cases and hospitalizations is accurate. 

“Case rates continue to follow the trends we see in hospitalizations, showing slight decreases,” he said. 

In a news release Friday, Public Health officials said the state’s reporting delay “has undercounted the county’s positive cases and affects the number of COVID-19 cases reported each day and our contact tracing efforts,” and urged members of the public with a positive lab result to call 833-540-0473 for support. 

Case breakdown

Public Health reported Friday 3,116 new diagnoses and 53 new deaths, totalling 204,167 and 4,918, respectively. 

In the Santa Clarita Valley, 52 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the past 24 hours, with 45 coming from the city of Santa Clarita, along with two each in Canyon Country and Saugus and one each in Acton, Castaic and Stevenson Ranch.

The county continues to see a decrease in daily hospitalizations. Last week more than 2,000 people were hospitalized and on Friday the tally was 1,680, of which 30% were in the ICU, per Public Health. 

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital officials reported Friday 5,697 tests have been conducted since the onset of the pandemic. Of those individuals tested — many of whom are tested more than once — 700 returned positive, 6,356 were negative and 106 remain outstanding, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. 

A total of 206 people have recovered and returned home, while nine remained in the hospital Friday, a decrease of four since Wednesday. Moody reported one additional COVID-19-related death, which brought the total to 21 at the hospital and 51 across the SCV after Public Health reported three new deaths Friday. 

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 4,644 Friday, broken down into region, are as follows: 

City of Santa Clarita: 2,376

Unincorporated – Acton: 51

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 20

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 2

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 88

Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,867 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 1

Unincorporated – Newhall: 6

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 5

Unincorporated – Saugus: 20

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 123

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 47

Unincorporated – Valencia: 37

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