The Department of Health is identifying an additional 88 hospitalizations statewide today, most of which have occurred in the past week but have gone unreported. Counties with a large impact include Yakima (16), King (21), Benton (8), Pierce (9), Franklin (6), Snohomish (5) and Spokane (6).
A data feed for several reporting facilities was interrupted last Saturday. This occurred outside of the Department of Health’s systems and impacted our laboratory reporting, as we reported out on Monday. It also impacted our hospital reporting which was not initially recognized. In addition, our syndromic surveillance database which contains our hospital reporting experienced a technical issue and was not able to run for two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday).
This resulted in our inability to link the hospital data to the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS) to update our hospitalizations on the DOH COVID-19 webpage. When we were able to again link them, we identified 88 new cases that hadn’t previously been reported. Most of the cases are from the last week, but they date as far back as 3/29.
We also want to call attention to the fact that the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) will be down beginning at 5 p.m. EDT for 24 hours for maintenance. It will then take some time for the system to catch up in data processing, so we will not have DOH dashboard updates for the hospitalized cases until Monday at the earliest as we won’t have data to update them with.
Our general approach to data collection and reporting is slow and methodical; the pace at which we move as part of the COVID-19 response has been much faster. This has created opportunities for learning and adjustment as we build new systems and ways of doing this crucial work. We acknowledge both the errors that are in our control and those that are not. We pledge to continue to learn from these experiences and improve our processes as we move through this unprecedented response.