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COVID-19 Numbers Updates Presentation and Reporting Updates

September 21, 2020 Covid-19 Numbers

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Notice from Texas Department of State Health Services:

On Sept. 21 Frio County showed an additional 193 COVID-19 cases. Of those, 186 are older cases identified by state health department staff through laboratory test reports in Texas Health Trace, the state’s COVID-19 case management system. Most of those older cases occurred in June and had not previously been reported to public health by health care providers. That did not cause a delay in notifying individuals of their test results.

  • Region 8 has identified a large number of electronically reported files in the Texas Health Trace system that will be added to the daily case count reports. Some of these reports have been delayed due to issues with electronic reporting systems that have been identified and corrected by DSHS.
  • Region 8 has reviewed the data in order to report accurate case counts. These cases have been reviewed to make sure that they are classified correctly, they are included the appropriate county’s case counts, and duplicate reports have been removed.
  • These cases have received public health follow-up through the Texas Health Trace system. The majority of these cases are no longer considered active, meaning they are no longer thought to be able to spread COVID-19.

Questions from the public: Region8COVID-19@dshs.texas.gov  *Please note that this email inbox is only monitored on weekdays

Press inquiries should be directed to the DSHS Press Office at PressOfficer@dshs.texas.gov

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Monday, September 21, 2020

NEW REPORTS:

193 Resident Cases Added to Total (from DSHS backlog, see above notice)
Resident Active Increase: 4
Resident Recovered Increase: 188 (from DSHS backlog, see above notice)
Resident Deaths Increase: 0
0 New GEO Detainee Cases
1 New CoreCivic Detainee Cases
0 New TDCJ Briscoe Offender Cases

For current resident covid numbers as reported to Frio County by the Texas Department of State Health Services, visit:
FRIO COVID DASHBOARD

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What happened?

According to the notice from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), several COVID-19 cases were not publicly reported. This affected only the publicly published numbers- individuals still received their test results.

DSHS attributes the previous under reporting to “issues with electronic reporting systems” they say “have been identified and corrected.” As a result, those older unreported cases were added to Frio County totals on September 21st.

Did this happen only in Frio County?

Many counties in the state were affected, but not all, and to varying degrees. We typically sample the adjacent counties’ DSHS reports for trends:

After the backlog of older cases were added:
Atascosa: 74.50 % increase in total cases
Frio: 32.94% increase in total cases
Dimmit: 31.11% increase in total cases
Zavala: 17.51% increase in total cases
LaSalle: 2.73% increase in total cases
Medina: 1.91% increase in total cases

Previous to the addition of the backlog, Frio County already had the largest number of resident covid cases per 1,000 residents. After the addition of the backlog, Frio still has the largest number of resident covid cases per 1,000 residents, with an even greater discrepancy between Frio and the other counties.

Will you update the graphs on the Frio Covid Lifeline Dashboard?

For now, the graphs will be removed altogether. Simply adding such a large backlog of cases to the graphs will result in a one-day spike that defeats the purpose of historical visualization. There are a few variables of particular concern:

  • Most of the “older cases occurred in June,” not evenly over time.
  • The backlog did not impact each county consistently.

The graphs will be reconstructed when and if we receive the necessary historical data. In the meantime, we’ll continue to report daily numbers. Expect more methodology changes and backlog drops from the Texas Department of State Health Services before this pandemic is over.