WVDHHR finishes investigation into COVID-19 case discrepancy

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources completed its investigation into COVID-19 case discrepencies.

Last week, Governor Jim Justice ordered an investigation into the number of active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County. According to the Governor, the number of active cases were found to be much lower in Randolph County than what was shown on the DHHR’s online dashboard.

The investigation found the DHHR electronic case surveillance system was not updated with data on the number of recovered cases. It was also determined the DHHR did not follow up with local health departments to routinely verify recovered cases of COVID-19.

The error in the number of recovered cases was discovered by the West Virginia National Guard. The National Guard then contacted the Randolph County Health Department to verify the numbers. The recovered cases were from the Huttonsville Correctional Facility outbreak.

After discovering the issue, the DHHR and National Guard contacted each local health department to verify and compare the numbers to the electronic case surveillance system. This system updates the numbers on the DHHR’s COVID-19 dashboard. This also lead to the discovery that health departments are behind on clearing active cases. The DHHR reportedly knew about this issue, but nothing was done to fix the issue sooner.

Local health departments are now in the process of updating the numbers and the DHHR is expected to release the updated results by July 3, 2020.

The investigation also came after the firing of Dr. Cathy Slemp. She was asked to resign due to discrepancies in the number of COVID-19 cases.

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