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Iowa medical director was aware for weeks of COVID data flaw

Posted at 2:26 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 15:26:55-04

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s medical director says she was aware of widespread inaccuracies in the state’s coronavirus data when her agency used it to release flawed calculations that helped guide decisions on school openings and enrollment this month.

Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state epidemiologist, says she became aware in late July of a problem in Iowa’s disease surveillance reporting system that backdated thousands of new test results. Nonetheless, Gov. Kim Reynolds on Aug. 6 released 14-day county positivity rates on the state’s coronavirus website that she said would help school officials and parents decide how to proceed with the upcoming school year.

The state announced Wednesday that because of the backdating problem, those positivity rates had been erroneous for two weeks.