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Local COVID-19 cases likely higher than reported

State: technical issues lead to under-reporting cases
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Posted at 7:42 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 23:02:05-04

Local COVID-19 cases reported by county public health departments are likely inaccurate because the state is having an issue processing incoming reports.

Both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties' health directors said the state has been under-reporting the latest numbers.

Issues with the state's electronic laboratory reporting system is resulting in an under-reporting of positive cases.

Santa Barbara County's Health Director Dr. Henning Ansorg said he had been encouraged by the drop in numbers lately, but now said the numbers are likely significantly higher.

"We will have a disclaimer on our website, all the metrics will be frozen per the state, so it will be very difficult for the public to see the data accurately at the moment because they simply aren't," Ansorg said.

In an effort to fix the problem, all labs must manually report cases to local public health departments.

Hospitalizations and death rates are not impacted by the state's under-reporting, but contact tracing will be delayed.