FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 16, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The internal database used by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to track COVID-19 cases experienced software problems that caused incomplete case reporting for several days. DHEC did not cause the software issue, and the vendor has fixed the problem as of this morning.
As soon as the software error was identified, DHEC added a disclaimer to its daily case reporting webpage to publicly notice that data was known to be incomplete.
South Carolina’s Infectious Disease and Outbreak Network (SCION) used by DHEC for disease surveillance is serviced by software company Conduent, and DHEC worked closely with the vendor around the clock to repair the software problem. The database issue was caused by slowdowns and delays in how SCION was able to process COVID-19 test results that are sent to the system electronically. The majority of laboratories and facilities that report negative and positive test results to DHEC do so by submitting an electronic lab report (ELR) to SCION.
This software issue did not lose any data and was not in any way a security breach. COVID-19 death reporting was not impacted by this software error; it only affected case counts.
DHEC staff first identified off-and-on slowdowns with ELR reporting on January 8 and reported the issues to Conduent. As of this morning, the system is fully operational.
A historical breakdown of reported cases and corrected cases for each day of the software error is available here, current as of 11:59 p.m. on January 15.
With the corrected data, the highest number of cases in a single day occurred on January 8 with 6,824 positive cases. Because of our 24-hour data delay, this number would have been reported out in our January 10 update. Historical updates by day are available on the county-level dashboard here.
For the latest COVID-19 information and data, visit scdhec.gov/COVID19.