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Iowa governor’s office says it will fix error that backdated COVID-19 results

Des Moines Public Schools custodian Tracy Harris cleans a chair in a classroom at Brubaker...
Des Moines Public Schools custodian Tracy Harris cleans a chair in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 3:09 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A spokesman for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says that the state is correcting a major flaw in its coronavirus data that backdated thousands of positive and negative test results.

Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said that the state’s data system had been erroneuosly recording the results of people who were tested on multiple occasions. He said that an individual’s most recent result, whether positive or negative, was “unintentionally attributed to the date of their first test.” That means thousands of recent results were being recorded in the system as having occurred in March, April, May and June.

State officials said that the fix would be implemented on Wednesday. The governor’s office said that 80% of counties would see a decrease in their 14-day positivity rates, while the rest would see, on average, a less than 1% increase in positivity rates.

Those 14-day rates are used by state officials to determine the ability of schools to use online-only instruction in the face of local outbreaks.

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