No 6th covid-19 case in Wahkiakum County
July 23, 2020
Wahkiakum County Director of Health and Human Services (H&HS) on Thursday corrected a mistaken report that the county had experienced a sixth case of covid-19 virus.
"A state Department of Health (DOH) employee likely misread the report and entered a negative test as a positive," Bischoff said in a Thursday morning press release.
"This is an opportunity to highlight a very misinformed opinion that is out there, and why it is misinformed. In this case, someone on the state side misread the negative lab result as being positive. This doesn’t mean that the test was done wrong, just that someone literally read the wrong part of the report and missed the correct part of the report.
"There is a common sentiment that ‘they’ are inflating the numbers to make COVID-19 look worse than it is, but in Washington State, that is not happening. This is a good example of why. HHS received notification that there was a new positive case in the County on Wednesday Morning. We did the same thing that someone in EVERY county in Washington does, we reached out to that person and our first question is ‘were you notified by your provider’.
"This person was notified by their provider that they tested negative and much confusion resulted. Our excellent public health nurse then began an investigation into what was going on. She discussed it with the patient and then she discussed it with H&HS management. From there she reached out the County Health Officer and finally was able to make contact with the testing entity. That entity confirmed that the test was in fact negative. Now H&HS is working on reporting that officially to the State so that they can correct the data in their system.
"This double check and investigation happens for EVERY positive case in the state.
“Mistakes are made; we are only human. The important part is that there is a system in place to catch these and get the data right. This doesn’t lower my confidence in our state data, it only raises it.
"It is important to remember that we will have a 6th case, eventually, and likely many more, unless each of us is diligent in doing our part to slow the spread of this pandemic."
The health department encourages the public to wear face coverings in public and maintain social distancing.
"The risk of COVID-19 in Washington is increasing," the release said. "Take steps to protect yourself and people around you from the disease. Stay Home, Stay Healthy."