California will roll out a new COVID-19 reporting system in October after it awarded a renewable six-month, $15.3-million contract to healthcare technology OptumInsight, Inc., the state announced this week. The announcement follows a recent failure of the state’s infectious disease registry CalREDIE to accurately report testing data, which reportedly resulted in the Department of Public Health director’s resignation last month.
“This system will reduce labor-intensive collection processes and minimize delays in reporting data so that public health experts across the state have swift access to the tools and data they need to prevent COVID-19 transmission and respond to new cases and outbreaks,” said State Chief Information Officer Amy Tong in a statement.
California will soon have plenty of test results to report, store, and analyze. Last week, Gov. Newsom announced a $1.4-billion contract with Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer to increase California’s COVID-19 testing from 100,000 to 250,000 per day.
CalREDIE suffered a significant glitch in July that caused COVID-19 cases to be underreported, which in turn led Gov. Gavin Newsom to prematurely announce “early good signs” in an Aug. 3 press conference.