State suspends adding, removing counties from COVID-19 watch list

Register Staff
Staff Writer

The state of California will not be adding any new counties to its COVID-19 watchlist, or removing any existing, until problems are fixed with its reporting database, according to multiple media outlets throughout the state.

It is unknown how long that effort will take, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, also known as CalReadie, is backlogged and not working properly.

The Associated Press reports that the CalREDIE system collects data from testing labs around California. The state uses data such as infection rates to determine which counties land on a watch list. Counties must come off the list for 14 days to be able to reopen certain businesses and offer in-classroom instruction for students; 38 counties are currently on the watch list.
Because Inyo County saw a spike in COVID-19 cases from Aug. 1 through Aug. 3, officials have anticipated that the county would land on the watch list.

As of Thursday evening, Inyo County reported:

• 3,235 total tests have been administered. (Data sources include testing totals from NIHD, SIHD, Toiyabe and Verily testing site, as they become available. Positives tests for those who are not full time residents in Inyo County are not included in the Positive Case count. Total, pending, and negative test numbers include individuals tested more than once.)

• 86 positive test results

• 2,652 negative test results

• 515 pending results (Cases with pending results are monitored by medical staff ordering test; Inyo County Public Health monitors pending results identified as high probability individuals.)

• 45 recovered

• 38 pending

• Three deaths

There are six criteria that will land a county on the watch list:

•Conducting fewer than 150 tests per 100,000 residents daily (over a 7-day average)

• More than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days or having more than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents and an 8% test positivity rate

• 10% or greater increase in COVID-19 hospitalized patients over the past 3 days

• Fewer than 20% of ICU beds available

• Fewer than 25% ventilators available

If a county lands on the watch list for more than three days, the state requires that indoor operations for several industries be closed. These include gyms and fitness centers, personal care services like nail salons and waxing, churches and cultural ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, offices for non-critical infrastructure and shopping malls. Because of state regulations, tattoo parlors are not allowed to open.