Extra California counties on COVID watchlist after knowledge challenge

Gov. Gavin Newsom stated Monday that 4 new counties could be required to shut hair salons, gyms and different companies, marking the primary time the state has up to date its listing of areas experiencing excessive transmission of COVID-19 in additional than two weeks since an enormous knowledge flub skewed the rely of constructive circumstances.

The state makes use of the listing to watch surges in coronavirus circumstances, hospitalizations and neighborhood transmissions and to information selections on permitting counties to open sure sectors, together with faculties and in-person providers at locations of worship.

Officers paused the listing at 38 counties on July 31 because the state labored to appropriate issues with its digital illness reporting and surveillance system, generally known as CalREDIE. The info points prompted a backlog of 295,000 coronavirus take a look at outcomes and preceded the sudden departure of the state’s public well being officer, Dr. Sonia Angell, who oversaw the reporting system.

Santa Cruz County is now off the listing, whereas Amador, Mendocino, Inyo and Calaveras have been added and should shut companies by Thursday. Sierra County was added two days in the past, and may be topic to closures if it fails to satisfy state thresholds for a 3rd day. The governor stated he anticipated San Diego would come off the listing this week.

“It is a dynamic listing,” Newsom stated Monday. “Individuals come on, folks come off. The numbers shift each single week. I anticipate this week, the numbers to shift once more.”

The breakdown of CalREDIE, which state officers blamed on a mixture of technical and human errors, raised issues in regards to the Newsom administration’s response to the pandemic as California topped greater than 625,000 circumstances of the virus. The issue additionally magnified the state’s communication points with county officers, who have been left at nighttime as to once they could be taken off the listing.

“We don’t really feel we must always have been placed on the watchlist, that these numbers don’t necessitate that sort of utmost motion by the state on this case and particularly as a result of these numbers are in dispute and stay in dispute at this time limit,” San Mateo County Supervisor Mike Callagy stated throughout a information briefing Wednesday. “We don’t know a transparent path off this listing.”

The choice to freeze the monitoring listing pissed off counties throughout the state that had seen drops in circumstances and within the charges of constructive take a look at outcomes. They believed they have been eligible to reopen companies once more however have been compelled to attend for the state to repair the system.

Officers in Orange and San Diego counties thought that they had reached the edge to be faraway from the watchlist final week however stated they didn’t know if or when that may happen.

In Orange County, Supervisor Michelle Metal stated Thursday that though the native outlook was promising, the info issues and their penalties had been of concern.

“For months now, [the Board of Supervisors] has requested questions and raised issues in regards to the knowledge,” Metal stated of Orange County’s request for data on how the info have been recorded. “Our cities depend on this knowledge to finest decide how to answer the change in case rely and COVID-19-related deaths.”

The California Division of Public Well being stated counties have been faraway from the monitoring listing and allowed to reopen companies as soon as they met the state’s thresholds for 3 consecutive days. Though the state’s COVID-19 web site has no description of how counties are faraway from the listing, a spokeswoman for the company stated the state communicated modifications each day in cellphone calls or emails to native well being departments.