News3 News Now Investigators


DHHS working with feds to restore Nebraska data on CDC website

The end of Nebraska's COVID dashboard impacted data on the CDC website
Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 19:45:41-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Like Nebraskans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was impacted by the removal of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services' statewide COVID dashboard, 3 News Now Investigators confirmed on Thursday.

The statewide dashboard was replaced by weekly reports at the end of June, when Gov. Pete Ricketts' emergency order expired.

Some data for Nebraska looks odd on the CDC website as of Thursday afternoon. County-level data shows Nebraska has zero COVID cases, which is clearly wrong, and an unusually high number of Nebraska counties are listed in a low community transmission level category.

The department has been in contact with the CDC since July "to try to determine what has changed since the dashboard was retired and why some of Nebraska’s data is not represented in the same way as the State provides it," a DHHS spokesperson wrote in an email.

DHHS found some answers during a call with the CDC on Tuesday.

"Due to the CDC’s reliance on the State’s dashboard in reporting of data, after the dashboard was retired, the technical specifications in how they processed the data were changed without the DHHS’s knowledge," the spokesperson wrote.

But a DHHS data team has determined a "workaround solution" that would restore more accurate data for Nebraska on the CDC's website, for both state and local levels.

This means that some local-level data that's hard to find now would be on the CDC's website. Data on the New York Times' map, for instance, also appears to be missing data.

"Pending CDC approval of the workaround solution, DHHS is hoping that CDC will be able to display the Nebraska’s data correctly in the near future," the spokesperson wrote.

The CDC has not yet responded to our questions.

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