FRESNO, California (KSEE) — After a glitch on the state’s lab reporting system, hundreds of COVID-19 cases not reported in Fresno County.
Fresno Health Department has a backlog of around 1,800 suspected COVID-19 positive results that need to be added to the county’s dashboard.
It is unclear how many are new cases and how many are from the glitch.
“We are currently moving any staff possible on this so we can process those labs as quickly as possible,” said Fresno County’s Top Epidemiologist Dr. Stephanie Koch-Kumar.
Despite the setback, Interim Fresno Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra wants more testing locally.
“We have to deal with backlogs if they happen but we also need to move forward with testing despite the rise of backlog,” said Vohra.
The glitch affected the three-state testing sites in Fresno County run by Optumserve Labs, which Vohra said have been flooded with patients.
“It is hard for you to get next day testing,” said Vohra. “If you go to the site and you register today, you might not get an appointment for several days to a week from now.”
The lag delayed lab results and contact tracing. In the next few weeks, Vohra plans to mandate at primary care clinics in the county state to test for COVID-19. That way physicians already have medical history on hand.
“It makes a lot more sense for the patient to enter into a treatment model with a physician and a medical team that can follow them up,” said Vohra. “We think this is much more of a sustainable way to take care of people.”
The Health Department has reached out to dozens of state-approved labs to process the tests for the clinics.