CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The investigation ordered by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last week to resolve a Randolph County COVID-19 case discrepancy has been completed by the West Virginia Department of Human Resources.
Justice ordered the investigation after the number of active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County were found to be much lower than shown on the DHHR COVID-19 dashboard.
The investigation found the DHHR electronic case surveillance system was not updated with recovered case data from the local health departments. It also found DHHR did not follow up with local health departments to routinely verify recovered cases of COVID-19.
“DHHR has made every effort to be completely transparent in the reporting of any data related to this pandemic and will continue to acknowledge any errors and discrepancies in the future and fix them as quickly as possible,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “We appreciate our partnership with the West Virginia National Guard as well as the local health departments. A system will be put in place to routinely verify data in the future to prevent this from ever happening again. Governor Justice has demanded this of us, and the public deserves it.”
Recovered cases are determined by the local health departments as they follow individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement received by 13 News, the West Virginia National Guard discovered the error who then contacted the Randolph County Health Department to verify the numbers.
The cases that had not been entered into the system as recovered, were cases from the Huttonsville Correctional Facility outbreak several weeks ago.
Local health departments are in the process of updating these numbers and we expect a final completion date on or before July 3.
“Should any local health departments need assistance in this effort, DHHR is happy to provide any assistance we can, including requests to have the National Guard assist in this effort,” Crouch added. “We recognize we need to support our local partners more and provide more assistance to them as we move forward. They are doing an unbelievable job under extremely difficult circumstances.”
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