IDPH on possible data errors: “We can only report what we’ve been given”

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Illinois Department of Public Health officials addressed possible errors in reporting data from long-care facilities listed on the IDPH website during today’s COVID-19 press conference.   

“We can only report what we’ve been given,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike during a press conference earlier this afternoon. The statement comes after IDPH reported eight cases of COVID-19 at Bickford of Bourbonnais when the facility and Kankakee County Health Department both reported only two.

“The local health departments and hospitals will put data into those electronic systems and its’ from there that we can aggregate the data and be able to share the data that’s been put into our system,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike this afternoon. “The facility is probably the best place to get the most up to date data, but we are pulling data from two different electronic reporting systems. One is the INET system, the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, and the second is our OUTBREAK system.”

Bickford of Bourbonnais was never mentioned directly during today’s press conference. IDPH says data had to have been pulled from somewhere to get into the IDPH reporting systems.

Earlier today, Executive Vice President of Operations at Bickford Senior Living Alan Fairbanks said both Bickford and Kankakee Department of Health data lined up correctly, reporting two cases at the facility.“We agree 100% with the Illinois Department of Health when they said today that the facility is the best place to get the most up to date data,” Fairbanks said this afternoon, “I wish the State had called us before they reported their information.”

The State of Illinois listed that data on Sunday via the IDPH care facility reporting portal. Dr. Ezike said this afternoon that data is delayed to reflect the previous day’s reporting numbers.

“To help preserve the integrity of the data as much as possible when trying to report in real-time, IDPH posts data as was reported from the day before, so there would be a lag. Because data is continually being updated, we are going to have the data up on our website and we will update it once a week. Of course, the information that we pull out, had to have been submitted.” said Dr. Ezike.

As of this evening, IDPH still is reporting eight cases at the Bickford of Bourbonnais facility.

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