By Jefferey Jaxen

Due to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) poor data monitoring, the agency has now forced the Tacoma – Pierce Health Department intervene to avoid further confusion and wasted resources.

The health department’s website recently warned, “Though Pierce County’s COVID-19 community level is low, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved us into its medium level today because of data processing issues.”

This isn’t the first time this health department had to correct discrepancies from the CDC as they state “We saw similar issues when CDC first unveiled its community tracker and worked quickly to get it corrected.

Our COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates have risen the past few weeks, and we could reach CDC’s medium community level soon. But we are not there yet, and we are far below the January peak of the Omicron wave“, writes the Tacoma – Pierce Country Health Department.

The main discrepancy from CDC data is with hospital admissions. We found duplications in this data and are working with one of our local hospital systems to correct it.” 

Why is this important?

According to the CDC, when Covid-19 community level in a county reaches ‘medium,’ the indication kicks off several behavior change modifications implemented for individuals within the community.

A ‘medium’ designation, which was falsely activated for Tacoma – Pierce due to the CDC’s poor data management, would see individuals needing to follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19. Immunocompromised individuals would be need to contact their doctor about starting treatments like oral antivirals, PrEP, and monoclonal antibodies.

At the community level, implementation of ‘screening testing or other testing strategies for people who are exposed to COVID-19 in workplaces, schools, or other community settings as appropriate’ would also be considered.

In short, an incredible waste of both human resources, tests and a needless disruption to overall lives of several key sectors making up the functioning nucleus of a community.

The CDC has had a poor performance in several areas throughout the pandemic response as the agency has taken criticism for acting more as a political weapon than an impartial public health agency.

Due to such low quality functioning, the agency is currently undergoing an internal review. “Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the review of the agency’s “structures, systems, and processes” to be led by Jim Macrae, a longtime employee of the US Department of Health and Human Services, with input from three senior CDC leaders,” writes CNN.

Jefferey Jaxen

Jefferey Jaxen is a health journalist and featured in his weekly segment, ’The Jaxen Report’, on The HighWire. As an investigative journalist, researcher, and compelling writer, Jefferey serves as Lead editor of The HighWire News and Opinion Team.

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