DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Health authorities are still wrestling through a backlog of more than 5,000 COVID-19 cases that were reported last weekend in Dallas County.
In July, the numbers appeared to be on the decline, but Dr. Timothy Bray, the Director of Urban Policy Research at UT Dallas says, the release of these numbers, most of which were from July, is causing public distrust in the accuracy of the system.
“Essentially the data fell into a hole,” he said.
The Texas Department of State Health Services says it was “formatting and coding issues,” that caused a backlog in their reporting system.
“One of the things that the Department of State Health Services says, is their system was never designed to see the volume of cases we are seeing now,” he said.
He explained that on the surface the numbers cause confusion since there are many factors that play into data calculations.
“It’s our record keeping practice, our data collection practices, our systems that move data, all of that plays into these numbers. Not just how many people have COVID. When you understand that, it’s a little bit easier to sort of respect what the numbers say, but understand that they may change tomorrow,” he said.
He says to keep the data more accurate, it would be best for the state to go back and place each backlogged case on the day it was confirmed, rather than placing thousands on August 16.
Especially when most of these cases, date back to July.
“Now we need to go back and amend the data so we are all using the same set of data that paints a more accurate picture,” he said. “Whether we trust those numbers or not, we should still be vigilant.
Moving forward, DSHS says it will take a few days to work through the backlog, to get a better idea of where we are in the trend of numbers.