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Iowa medical director was aware for weeks of COVID data flaw

The state's lead medical official said she became aware of the problem in late July, weeks before the erroneous statistics were released.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this June 18, 2020, file photo, Iowa state epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati updates the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. Pedati said Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, that she was aware of widespread inaccuracies in the state’s coronavirus data when her agency used it to release flawed calculations that helped guide decisions on school openings and enrollment this month. Dr. Pedati said she became aware in late July of a problem in Iowa's disease surveillance reporting system that backdated thousands of new test results. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, Pool, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s medical director says she was aware of widespread inaccuracies in the state’s coronavirus data when her agency used it to release flawed calculations that helped guide decisions on school openings and enrollment this month. 

Dr. Caitlin Pedati, the state epidemiologist, says she became aware in late July of a problem in Iowa’s disease surveillance reporting system that backdated thousands of new test results. 

Nonetheless, Gov. Kim Reynolds on Aug. 6 released 14-day county positivity rates on the state’s coronavirus website that she said would help school officials and parents decide how to proceed with the upcoming school year. 

The state announced Wednesday that because of the backdating problem, those positivity rates had been erroneous for two weeks.