Oklahoma agency cites 'technical glitch' for drop in cases
July 19, 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A technical glitch with the state's COVID-19 data entry is resulting in artificially low numbers of confirmed positive coronavirus tests, Oklahoma health officials reported Monday.
The Oklahoma State Health Department reported 168 new confirmed cases on Monday and 209 on Sunday, which are well below the recent average in reported new cases and "do not reflect real-time data," the agency said in a statement.
Outdated data systems that often rely on fax machines and manual data entry are partly to blame, the agency said. A similar technical glitch that occurred June 5 and June 18 was resolved in about 24 hours.
"We recognize the significant issues we've experienced in the past and are working to eliminate them by incorporating new technology to enhance the current system as we work towards a long-term solution." Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said.
The agency also says they expect a spike in the number of reported cases once the issue is resolved.
The latest numbers show at least 25,433 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, along with 452 total deaths, although the actual number of positive cases is likely much higher since many people haven't been tested and some who get the disease don't show symptoms. The most recent death reported Monday was a Tulsa County woman in the 65-and-older age group.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.