The COVID-19 data for Grady County may appear to have increased dramatically over the last week. However, this is not the case according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). 

OSDH added about 1,300 previously unreported cases and 1,716 unreported Oklahoma COVID-19 deaths to the dashboard on Wednesday. 

“As a result, cases for today will appear artificially high,” said in a COVID-19 situation update. 

On Wednesday, OSDH reported 5,837 total COVID-19 cases, 5,608 recoveries and 119 deaths for Grady County. 

“As part of our effort to transition COVID-19 case reporting away from the PHIDDO system and onto a more stable platform, OSDH has been working to onboard labs to a new electronic laboratory reporting system. As with any transition to a new system, occasional technical errors are expected. Our internal team conducts routine quality assurance checks to ensure those errors are caught and corrected in a timely manner,” OSDH Epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“Earlier this week, one of our routine quality assurance checks revealed a technical error that occurred while onboarding a particular lab to the new electronic laboratory reporting system. Although the technical error is specific to only one lab, it resulted in the failure to upload approximately 1,300 positive COVID-19 cases onto our dashboard over a six-week period.” 

These deaths occurred between December and March. OSDH provided the following breakdown for the previously unreported deaths by month: 271 in December, 448 in January, 296 in February and 133 in March. 

Taylor said the number of additional cases is relatively small over this period of time and has not impacted the public’s knowledge of the overall risk of transmission. Moreover, the OSDH team is working to ensure such errors do not occur again. 

“OSDH previously switched to reporting on deaths in alignment with the CDC while our team worked to resolve the discrepancy in deaths reported in the ADS (state) system. The ADS team is making progress in reviewing and reconciling the death count between the vital records and ADS assessment. As such, there will be a large increase of approximately 1,800 new deaths into the ADS investigated and confirmed category,” Taylor said. 

“Our team is still working to reconcile that data, so additional increases in the ADS death count are expected over the coming weeks, but those will be fewer at each time. We feel it is important to communicate this error for transparency and visibility

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