After multiple days of missed updates to their website, and a new map showing three-day-old data, the state Department of Health issued a statement on Tuesday ensuring their commitment to continued data transparency.

“We are working to ensure daily numbers are posted on time. Here’s some context about recent challenges:

  • The Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS) is used to report notifiable conditions.
  • Outside a pandemic, only positive results would be reported.
  • WDRS is now tracking negative results for COVID-19. This volume is overwhelming the tool.
  • We have worked with the vendor supporting WDRS to increase capacity.
  • We are also investigating additional solutions, which may include:
    • A separate reporting tool for negative results (roughly 93% of the data at this time).
    • Automating deduplication work performed manually each day. One day last week, more than 2,000 duplicate results were removed to ensure accurate, reliable numbers.

DOH will share additional updates if this problem persists. We cannot provide an estimate for the next release of numbers, but are working diligently toward that goal.

This week, DOH made several new data points available. Our website now includes visualizations showing confirmed cases, the epidemiological curve, cumulative case and death counts, testing numbers, and demographic information. Also coming soon is hospitalization data.

We are working closely with Microsoft to optimize the user experience for this data, including for those without a high-speed connection or those working from a mobile device.