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California’s public health director resigns amid questions about coronavirus test data



Governor Gavin Newsom, director of the California Department of Public Health resigned on Sunday, the sudden departure of a key adviser in the state’s war against coronavirus just days after the discovery of a system failure. calculation leads to a statistically missing COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Sonia Angell, who held the position for less than a year, announced her resignation in an email sent to division staff released by the California Department of Human Services and Health.

“Since January, when we received news of return flights from Wuhan, China, our division has been at the center of what has been the response of all governments. at an unprecedented rate for COVID-1

9, ”Angell wrote in an email to public health workers. “In the final calculation, all of our work, overall, makes a difference.”

Angell’s decision to set aside comes at a critical moment in his fight against the spread of the virus in California. More than 10,000 Californians have died from the disease and 38 of the state’s 58 counties on the watchlist to close businesses reopened briefly in the early summer and early summer. school K-12 when the school year begins. Angell, who regularly appears alongside Newsom during his public meetings on the state’s pandemic effort, is seen as a key player in coordinating with local public health departments across the state. .

“I would like to thank Dr. Angell for her service to the state and her work to help direct our public health system during this global pandemic, and never at the same time. hours lose the importance of health equity, ”the governor said in a written statement Sunday night. .

Last week, state officials confirmed that as many as 300,000 records had not been processed by the clearing computer system to provide local officials with COVID-19 test results reported by laboratories. daily report. Two separate errors have been identified – one related to server outages, the other due to an expired digital certificate for data transferred from Quest Lab.

Regulatory officials confirmed they did not know the extent of the problem until after Newsom’s public event on August 3, in which he expressed optimism that the current number of cases – well below some expected. – means some progress in state efforts. But some local officials received notice from the state’s Department of Public Health last week admitting there was a problem with the CalREDIE computer system.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Department of Human Services and Health, said Friday that a full investigation is underway to determine what happened. And although he said he was aware of the “magnitude” of the issue only after Newsom’s public statements, a number of state officials had been informed about the matter beforehand.

“We know that the individuals out there are aware of some of these challenges,” Ghaly said during a discussion about both the state’s Department of Public Health and his agency, which oversees those operations.

A state health agency spokesman would not comment on Sunday on whether Angell’s sudden resignation was related to, or motivated by, database errors.

“I am grateful to Dr. Angell for her service to the Californians during this unprecedented public health crisis,” Ghaly said in a written statement Sunday evening. “She has worked tirelessly for all Californians, keeping in mind fair health. Her leadership was instrumental as Californians flattened the curve once and set us on the path to do so again. “

Angell served as director of the state’s Department of Public Health and as the state public health officer. These tasks will be split between the two women, state officials said. Sandra Shewry, vice president of the nonprofit California Health Care Foundation, who oversees the state’s Medi-Cal program under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be acting director of the Department of Public Health. Dr Erica Pan, who recently joined Newsom after serving as a public health worker in Alameda County, will take over as the state public health officer.

Newsom is expected to provide an update on the state’s corona antivirus efforts on Monday afternoon.




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