Wisconsin DHS to upgrade COVID-19 reporting system over weekend

Staff said the system's data will not be updated until the upgrade is complete
Posted at 1:06 PM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 15:18:47-04

WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced a system upgrade that will cause a brief outage affecting COVID-19 reporting over the weekend.

The DHS said the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS), which collects an array of data pertaining to coronavirus tracking across the state, will undergo improvements starting Friday at 5 p.m. Staff said the system's data will not be updated until the upgrade is complete.

WEDSS is the system that Wisconsin Local and Tribal Health Departments (LTHDs), heath care providers, and other public health partners to the DHS use to collect and monitor data testing, contact tracing, and other surveillance metrics. This system gives public health experts the information they need to assess disease activity to make informed decisions.

During the upgrade and routine maintenance, LTHDs and state public health staff said they will use alternative methods data collection. Contract tracing may also impacted, however the DHS said it is increasing staffing before and after the planned upgrade to account for the outage. Reporting of test results will not be impacted.

Heath officials said the WEDSS upgrades will help improve tools for contact tracing, automate data entry, enhance security features, and strengthen the system to accommodate any increase in cases.

According to the DHS, the updates are scheduled to go live Monday, October 19 and accurate reporting of COVID-19 data in Wisconsin should resume by Tuesday, October 20.

For a more accurate representation of disease activity across the state while the upgrade is happening, the DHS said to look at the 7-day averages instead of daily positivity rates. Click here to go to the DHS website.