Glitch leads to confusion over CDC COVID-19 tracking map

Glitch leads to confusion over CDC COVID-19 tracking map

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LISBON, Ohio — At the start of Wednesday, a Center for Disease Control map showed one northeast Ohio county as a place for high levels of COVID-19 transmission, but health officials in Columbiana County said the CDC’s map is misleading.

They said the county actually belongs in the moderate category.

What You Need To Know

  • Data from the CDC showed Columbiana County in the red zone for a high number of community COVID-19 transmissions
  • A data glitch led to the high transmission designation
  • Trumbull and Mahoning counties were also incorrectly reported

“We received one day there were 70 cases that were entered into the state database at once, and so what I believe the CDC did was say those were 70 cases that just happened at that time when technically they happened within the last five months,” said Laura Fauss, the public information officer for Columbiana Department of Health.

Fauss said the numbers include cases from March through July, but the cases from the previous months were reported for the first time. There was no clear reason for the delay.

“The state’s saying there was some type of data glitch with that laboratory entering it into the system, so I haven’t been told anything other than that,” said Fauss.

Mahoning and Trumbull counties also showed higher community transmission numbers because of the glitch, according to the Ohio Department of Health. ODH said 242 cases were impacted because of the glitch in 10 different counties with 69 of those cases being in Columbiana.

While Fauss said the county isn’t in the red zone they are seeing an increase in cases.

“The first week in July, our seven-day average is 1.4 cases per day,” said Fauss. “For the week of the 9th in July, our seven-day average is 3.2 cases per day. And just this last week our seven-day average was five cases per day.”

Fauss encouraged people in the county to continue wearing masks especially if they are not vaccinated and to consider getting vaccinated if they have not.

“Right now we have a 35% vaccination rate of those that are fully vaccinated in the county,” said Fauss.

Late in the afternoon, the CDC updated their map and Columbiana now appears in the moderate risk zone.​

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