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Commissioners lack confidence in state COVID reporting

by | Aug 20, 2020 | Latest

Collin County commissioners almost pulled down the web dashboard reporting daily COVID-19 number on Monday, but decided instead to post a disclaimer stating that they do not trust the data.

The discussion over virus reporting came a few days after the state, which provides the numbers for the dashboard, added 1,175 cases to the county data, pushing the total number of positive cases to more than 10,000.

“I am frustrated with the state,” County Judge Chris Hill declared.

Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the county gathered data and posted numbers to the dashboard. However, the Texas Department of State Health Services took over collecting and organizing the data.

Since taking over collection of all COVID-19 date in June, the state has been awash in a backlog of information. The data dump last week, which occurred all over the state, was the result of working through the accumulation of information, County Manager Bill Bilyeu said.

Bilyeu pointed out that the data is not accurate, giving an example of how recoveries from the virus are counted. Two methods are employed, when a patient actually recovers and by the calendar. If no information is provided on whether, or not, a patient recovered, their case is automatically marked as recovered after 30 days.

“The numbers are false, but they are the best we have,” Bilyeu said.

Hill noted that it was hard for the commissioners court to make any decisions in response to COVID-19 without accurate data and expressed frustration that the state does not consider Collin County data a priority.

Although the county has been doling out federal coronavirus money to cities and other entities, commissioners have made few policy decisions in dealing with the effects of the pandemic, deferring to the governor to set guidelines and mandates.

Joe Reavis • [email protected]

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