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State Auditor: Review of Office of Public Health's COVID data reporting procedures reveals several concerns

7 months 1 week 1 day ago Monday, December 21 2020 Dec 21, 2020 December 21, 2020 6:53 AM December 21, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A recent audit of the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health (OPH) revealed a lack of procedural efficiency that may impact its reporting of COVID data statistics.

According to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office, auditors who examined the reliability of the data reported on the OPH’s COVID-19 Dashboard found that while the organization has processes in place to ensure data on the number of positive cases and deaths are not over-reported on the dashboard, it does not have a process to make sure the laboratories handling COVID-19 testing submit complete results or submit test results in a timely manner.

As a result, the auditor states, the OPH cannot ensure the data on the dashboard is complete. In addition to this, auditors discovered that COVID-19 test results laboratories sent to OPH did not include all information required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Auditors added that laboratories did not always submit all required COVID-19 test results to OPH within 24 hours, as required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state.

However, as two new vaccines from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer begin making their way into the state, healthcare providers and many members of the public are beginning to feel as though an end to the coronavirus pandemic is finally in sight.  

Dr. Takeisha Davis, CEO of New Orleans East Hospital, addressed this during a recent news conference, saying, "As I think back to March and April when we were overwhelmed with despair and fear, the stress on our healthcare providers, we're seeing again with this third surge. So, the prospect of having a safe and effective vaccine has brought us hope as we continue to take care of our community." 

Though it will likely take a significant period of time before daily COVID data statistics are a thing of the past, health care officials are optimistic that with the aid of Pfizer's and Moderna's new vaccines, such a time will eventually arrive. 

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