By Shannon Najmabadi and Edgar Walters, The Texas Tribune Sept. 24, 2020
“How a glitchy computer system skewed Texas’ coronavirus data and hampered its pandemic response” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
A glitchy electronic system that state health officials had repeatedly warned was aging and at high risk of “critical failure” has stymied efforts to track and manage the coronavirus in Texas and left policymakers with incomplete, and at times inaccurate, data about the pandemic’s spread.
The state’s public health agency asked Texas lawmakers for money last year to improve a reporting system — the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, or NEDSS — it said was several versions behind what other states used at the time. The work was months from being finished when the coronavirus