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Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 23, 2020 07:06PM
[www.startribune.com]

State health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said the federal hospital reporting system, known as TeleTracking, went down. "As a result they experienced underreporting
O'FALLON, Mo. — With the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization rising at alarming levels, Missouri and perhaps a handful of other states are unable to post accurate data on COVID-19 dashboards because of a flaw in the federal reporting system.

Since Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service's coronavirus dashboard has posted a message that the total number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has been underreported since Oct. 17. The note blamed "challenges entering data" to the portal used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for collecting daily hospitalizations around the country.

It wasn't immediately clear on Friday how many states are impacted since some states rely on their own hospitalization counts, not HHS data collection. HHS did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

But The COVID Tracking Project said in a blog post that it has "identified five other states with anomalies in their hospitalization figures" that could be tied to the HHS reporting problem.

The project noted that the number of reported intensive care unit patients in Kansas had decreased from 80 to one without explanation. It said Wisconsin's hospitalization figures stayed unexpectedly flat while other indicators worsened. And it said Georgia, Alabama, and Florida reported only partial updates to hospitalization data.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Kristi Zears confirmed that the "ICU admission data displayed on our website is not current. We did post a notice on our dashboard today to convey that as well. We anticipate the issue will be resolved for our Monday update."

A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said the state's reporting was accurate, with the number of hospitalizations holding steady for one day, Wednesday, before rising again on Thursday. A Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman said the department was unaware of any problems with its data. Health department representatives in the other states mentioned in the blog didn't immediately respond to Associated Press requests for comment.

In Missouri, the loss of accurate hospitalization data comes as confirmed cases continue to rise. On Friday, Missouri reported 1,811 new cases of COVID-19, and 31 additional deaths. Since the onset of the pandemic, Missouri has cited 164,534 confirmed cases and 2,688 deaths.

Missouri also has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations since September. The state reached record levels of hospitalizations several times earlier this month, with every region except St. Louis seeing record or near-record spikes. Since July 7, when 375 people were hospitalized statewide, that number has nearly quadrupled to a peak of 1,465 hospitalizations on Oct. 14.

The problem is especially worrisome in rural areas, where some hospitals are nearing capacity. Others are using makeshift buildings or previously vacant hospital wings to serve overflow patients. Some are simply redirecting people to larger hospitals.

– so hospitalization numbers were lower than they should've been," Cox said in an email.

Missouri Hospital Association Senior Vice President Mary Becker said HHS recently implemented changes; some measures were removed from the portal, others were added or renamed. Some reporting hospitals were able to report using the new measures, but others were not, and as a result, the system crashed, she said.

"This change is impacting hospitals across the country," Becker said in an email. "Some states collect the data directly and may not yet be introducing the new measures to their processes. Missouri hospitals use TeleTracking and did not have control over the introduction of the changes to the template."

The last day with accurate data, Oct. 16, showed 1,439 people hospitalized in Missouri, down slightly from the record of 1,465 set two days earlier.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: sekker
Date: October 23, 2020 09:09PM
'We've turned the corner' alright...
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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 23, 2020 09:11PM
MO gov STILL doesn’t talk masks, despite contracting it himself.
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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: October 23, 2020 10:17PM
Quote
sekker
'We've turned the corner' alright...


oops
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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: pdq
Date: October 24, 2020 12:35AM
As much as I wish it were otherwise, I really believe this kind of stuff results from implicit or explicit pressure to reduce testing (or testing results) in (at least some) red states.

For instance, I have found it puzzling that North Dakota’s positives are higher than more populous South Dakota (especially because I honestly think the Sturgis rally in SD gave the midwest outbreak a big kick-start).

But then I looked at the numbers (from the WaPo Covid page). Here’s why:



South Dakota is doing about 1/4 as many tests (per population) as North Dakota, but getting close to the same number of positives. In fact, in the last seven days, South Dakota has a 39% positive test rate, second highest in the nation to Mississippi (which is listed as 100% positive, but doing only 155 tests per 100,000). SD is doing 1621 tests per 100k; ND is doing 6566 tests per 100k with 11% positivity. (As a telling contrast, little blue Rhode Island, which has low Covid cases overall, is doing 9365 tests per 100k, with a positivity rate of just 2%).

I dunno; maybe South Dakotans are just personally opposed to Covid tests, but with it exploding in the state, I doubt it. I think someone should ask Kristi Noem why there are so few tests being done in the middle of a full-blown pandemic.

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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 24, 2020 02:43AM
[www.sctimes.com]

Mayor of Fargo calls for statewide mask mandate: 'I'm very concerned'

FARGO, N.D. — The mayor of North Dakota’s largest city said Monday he’d like to see a statewide mask mandate as the coronavirus spins out of control and in the meantime invoked emergency powers to require face coverings in most settings that don’t involve family members.

Tim Mahoney, who in addition to being Fargo’s mayor is also a general surgeon, has been largely supportive of Republican Gov. Doug Burgum’s approach to managing the pandemic. But he said up to one in four people being tested for the virus in his city in recent weeks has tested positive, and Mahoney said it “would be great” if Burgum issued an order for the entire state.

“Statistics have shown you get better compliance if it’s the whole state as opposed to one (city or county) at a time,” the mayor said.

Cass County, which includes Fargo, had over 200 new cases Monday and has had nearly 8,000 since the pandemic began. It’s been one of the hardest-hit spots in a state that has ranked worst in the nation for daily new cases per capita the past two weeks.

“We’re not doing well. I’m very concerned,” Mahoney told The Associated Press. “Our counts are not going down so we’re going to have to do something dramatic to get them down.”



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: October 24, 2020 07:17AM
We need Congressional action on public health data reporting and transparency. A lot of scientists have been calling for this for a while, I think it's beyond obvious that this has to be an urgent priority for the new Dem Congress in 2021.

Needs to be accurate, complete, up to date, and machine readable.
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Re: Hospitalization data flawed in Missouri, perhaps elsewhere
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 24, 2020 09:33AM
We’d probably HAVE that decent record keeping if the CDC wasn’t sidelined. This was a solved problem already, but Trump had to un-solve it to crookedly award a company that didn’t deserve it, isn’t capable, and won’t care after its all over.

The supportive quote from Redfield is especially evil. That lapdog is a key player in all of these infections and deaths.

[www.npr.org]
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