There has been a lot of reports in the news and from Webster County Public Health this week about a “clinic” reporting nearly 3,000 negative covid-19 test results. The Community Health Center of Fort Dodge released a statement Wednesday Afternoon that confirmed they were the clinic mentioned in the reports.
Multiple reports have circulated in the news this week concerning the reporting of COVID-19 data at Community Health Center of Fort Dodge in Webster County. The reporting process, like all other aspects pertaining to COVID-19 is more complex than what is visible at the surface level. Systems were not ready to respond to a global pandemic and the reporting of data has continuously evolved over the last several months. We want to be clear and address misconceptions regarding this situation:
- All results, both positive and negative, have been reported on a daily basis to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
- Community Health Center of Fort Dodge has worked to follow all guidance from the state regarding reporting of data.
- Due to the high volume of test results being reported the system was overwhelmed. Community Health Center of Fort Dodge submitted positive tests directly into the Iowa Department of Public Health’s system to support immediate contact tracing. The effectiveness of contact tracing will be key to successfully mitigating the spread of COVID-19. All negative results were faxed to IDPH for manual input.
- We continue to work with IDPH to evolve the reporting process and have created a new solution to reduce manual entry of reporting negative cases.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, the CDC guidance changed earlier this week regarding how to report certain types of positive tests. We are working with the IDPH in good faith to ensure all results are reported accurately.
We are proud of the COVID-19 testing we have conducted in our community and the many other ways we serve Fort Dodge and the surrounding areas.