Kern Public Health reports reduction of 185 cases after state runs data batch update and finds duplicate cases reported


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Public Health Department reported a reduction of 185 COVID-19 cases Thursday. The negative number is a result of a data batch update run by the state that found duplicated COVID-19 case records between April 28, 2020 and Sept. 17, 2021.

The state’s process removed 587 duplicate cases resulting in a net report of a reduction of 185 cases. If the state had not run their batch process, Kern Public Health would’ve reported 402 new COVID-19 cases today.

The state is reporting that 288 are in a hospital.

De-duplication is conducted to ensure that a case is not being counted more than once. Duplicates can occur when the healthcare provider and lab both report the case, different spellings of the patient’s name or address, lab result faxes are not combined with online reported results and probable (antigen) and confirmed (follow up PCR) results are not combined.

“We are actively working with the state to better understand their actions,” Kern County Public Health said in a news release.

Kern Public Health notes that the department has been conducting de-duplication data reporting since the beginning of the pandemic. Kern County Public Health said their de-duplication efforts have been successful up to this point. The 587 duplicates removed represent approximately 0.4% of reported cases with only two of these cases from 2021.

The department moved from manual detection to automated detection in December 2020.

“We took this action because the state switched from a manual review of incoming test results to autoprocessing and removed our ability to continue our manual de-duplication efforts conducted prior to this change.”

Kern Public Health’s data de-duplication searches the following factors in the system:

  • More than one record in the same person’s account
  • Same last name and date of birth at the same address
  • Same first name, last name and date of birth regardless of address or other factors

“Public Health is currently reviewing each record included in the state’s data batch and has found some issues with the state’s de-duplication efforts. Therefore, will manually enter back any true positive cases. Although we do not expect to find many, we will continue to ensure that the cases reflected on our Dashboard reflect the true positive cases of COVID-19 in Kern County.”

To view the COVID-19 dashboard from Kern County Public Health, visit here.

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