FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend County is expected to report significantly higher daily coronavirus case counts as local health officials update their database with backlogged cases.
Judge KP George explained Wednesday the boosted numbers reflect hundreds of COVID-19 cases that were reported to state health officials from various labs and hospitals that hadn’t been added to the county records.
The backlog is a result of Texas introducing a new case and contact tracing system called Texas Health Trace, which launched in late May.
“This system was initiated to allow local health departments to work on behalf of their communities to access state-collected lab reports,” Dr. Jacqueline Minter said. “The goal of this was to improve the investigation of cases and improve contact tracing throughout the state.”
George said the backlogged numbers will be flagged with a disclaimer, distinguishing them from the actual new daily cases. These changes to the county health department’s publicly reported data will happen over the next few weeks.
The other day, officials said as many as 500 backlogged cases were added to the county dashboard hub.
While case counts are being inflated by backlog, George and Minter reminded residents community spread is still an issue. They’re asking to stick to best health practices such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and so on.
Minter said case numbers have shown daily dips, but there isn’t a strong enough trend to suggest the county is out of the woods yet.
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