Wisconsin agency ‘woefully behind’ on virus data cleanup

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin health officials say the state is “woefully behind” in cleaning up COVID-19 data and a renewed emphasis on making sure the case counts are more accurate has resulted in swings in previously reported numbers.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials said Wednesday that they’re concerned the public won’t understand why the numbers are changing, even though they say it’s part of a routine process that fell behind in the fall as COVID-19 cases were spiking.

Deputy health department secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says the verification work has ramped up the past two weeks.