LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – In a COVID-19 world, eyes stay fixed on the numbers, the total confirmed cases, the positivity rate, and the COVID-related death toll.
But, the numbers from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and the state’s daily report weren’t adding up.
More than 2,000 cases of COVID-19 were announced Wednesday by Governor Andy Beshear, but more than half of those are from a backlog of cases from Fayette County.
“We were using one system initially in this pandemic and the state uses a federal system to enter data,” LFCHD Communications Officer Kevin Hall said.
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That means the health department’s limited staff had to enter those numbers twice.
“As the number of cases increased in Lexington so did the number of cases we had to double enter,” Hall said.
What really brought more attention to this backlog of numbers in Fayette County was how it affected the color of the county reflected in the state’s 7-day Incidence Rate Map.
“For weeks Fayette county was showing in the orange but we were seeing 90 to 100 plus cases per day,” Hall said. “So, we really in Fayette county in all actuality should have been in the red for quite some time.”
The map impacts decisions for schools in classes and sports. But, Hall said the accurate numbers were always available on the health department’s website, as well as discussed in conversations with any decision-maker.
Now, with help from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the county has caught up on reporting more than 1,900 backlogged cases.
“As Dr. Stack said Wednesday in the press conference, it’s tighter, it’s never going to be perfect, partly because we report the numbers at a different time to the state than what’s updated on our website each day,” Hall said. “So, the backlog is definitely reduced, it may not be fully eliminated, but it definitely helps reduce that number.”
Hall said this backlog never impacted contacting those people who tested positive or contact tracing efforts.
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