On Monday the County reported 426 new coronavirus cases, compared to the 1,267 cases reported on Saturday, July 25. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he believes the disparities are due to an issue with the state's reporting system.
"The state has an electronic laboratory reporting system. There have been some problems with the system and some lab reports are not getting reported timely," Jenkins said. "They’re working on that, that was the situation we had last week where a lab was not reported for about five days and all those tests dropped on one day, Saturday. So it gave us a really high number on Saturday and it gave us a lower number for the four days before that."
He said it's important to look at the seven day and two-week trends because it paints a better picture of what's actually going on, especially since he said recently there was a 'glitch' in reporting.
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Jenkins said Parkland Memorial Hospital recognized something was off after comparing their numbers to the ones the state reported. He said the hospital knows how many test it sent to the lab, and the number didn't match up.
He said they contacted the county, then Dallas County Health and Human Services contacted the state.
"I think the state will get the glitch fixed, but I am confident that over a seven day period, all the numbers are coming in, so we may not get the on the right day, until we get the glitched fixed, but we are seeing a slight downward trend and that’s very good thing," Jenkins said. "Please don’t let up, keep wearing the masks, six feet distance, avoid those unnecessary trips and use a lot of good hygiene.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he believes masks and social distancing are working and are factors in the recent downward trend in coronavirus cases.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said it's changing the way it reports COVID-19 deaths.
According to a statement, before they would use data that was reported by local and regional health departments.
Instead, they'll use death certificates.
"This method allows fatalities to be counted faster with more comprehensive demographic data. Using death certificates also ensures consistent reporting across the state and enables DSHS to display fatalities by date of death, providing the public with more information about when deaths occurred. The change will be reflected in today’s data when posted online," DSHS said in a statement.
"A fatality is counted as due to COVID-19 when the medical certifier, usually a doctor with direct knowledge of the patient, determines COVID-19 directly caused the death. This method does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but died of an unrelated cause," the statement said.
The state said death certificates are required by law to be filed within 10 days.
Jenkins said later on this week, through state directive, they're planning to start reporting presumed positive test.
"For instance, if one person in the family tests positive and two more members in the family have the same symptoms, they’re presumed positive and they may not go and get the test and they may stay home and try to get well," Jenkins said. "Those people will be reported separately though. We'll still get our same number of our COVID positives and you'll get this new number of presumed positive sick family members."