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COVID-19 patient reports are stacked after being processed by the Northeast Texas Public Health District office in Tyler. The disease surveillance team creates daily reports of COVID-19 cases and information by collecting results and information through the NET system, faxes, and other methods.
Coronavirus in Texas

How a glitchy computer system skewed Texas’ coronavirus data and hampered its pandemic response

Local health officials describe the electronic system as “cumbersome,” “archaic” and “really slow," though its performance has improved since it was upgraded in August.

Northeast Texas Public Health District, which consists of seven counties in northeast Texas, processes their COVID-19 records and cases through multiple methods, including faxes. Sept. 22, 2020.

"Very, very outdated"

Epidemiologist Jason Geslois works at his desk at the Northeast Texas Public Health office in Tyler on Sep 22, 2020. Stacks of folders contain records and information of COVID-19 cases across seven counties in northeast Texas.
A box of hepatitis reports sit among stacks of information regarding all sorts of diseases at the Northeast Texas Public Health District office in Tyler.
Esmeralda Guajardo, Health Administrator at Cameron County Public Health, at her office in San Benito on Sept. 22, 2020.

Paper faxes, missing information complicates investigations

Raquel Castillo, the lead epidemiologist at Cameron County Public Health, uses the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) system to enter patient data on Sep. 22, 2020 in San Benito.

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