NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health said they will not issue data on COVID-19 cases and tests on Sunday due to an unplanned shutdown of the state surveillance system. TDH will resume daily provision of case counts and additional data once the system returns to full functionality and complete and accurate data can be provided.
TDH uses the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base System, known as NBS, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help local, state and territorial health departments manage reportable disease data and send it to CDC, the department explained in a press release Sunday.
This system houses data for all reportable diseases in Tennessee, including COVID-19, and is the system health department staff members use to perform public health case investigations, the release continued.
Due to an extremely high volume of both COVID-19 and other laboratory test results being reported, there have been recent intermittent backlogs of labs in queue to be imported into the NBS system. This issue is not unique to Tennessee, and is affecting all NBS jurisdictions, the release said.
The release detailed that the TDH team has been working closely with the NBS vendor and Tennessee State Government information technology support to quickly implement fixes that have been identified.
At around 2 a.m. Central Time on Sunday, TDH officials said the element of NBS that imports laboratory results encountered an unplanned shutdown. This issue was corrected by TDH and state information technology teams, and laboratory imports to NBS were restarted by 11 a.m. CT.
Due to the ongoing backlog and this unplanned shutdown, a limited number of COVID-19 test results were imported into NBS in the last 24 hours, the release added. TDH will not release updated COVID-19 numbers Sunday since the department’s data is incomplete. This will also affect the state health department’s metropolitan health department partners and their data updates Monday.
These technical issues may cause a delay in local public health officials contacting people recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
TDH urges those recently tested to consult information online or contact local health departments if you were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and have questions about next steps.