New York shutting down CommCare data system
Raymond Pignone is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the CommCare system, a method used to support case investigations early in the COVID-19 pandemic, will end Dec. 29, as local health departments phase out COVID-19 case investigations, according to the New York State Department of Health. Effective January 1, the Greene County Public Health Department will no longer call positive COVID-19 cases, according to the department’s website. Final calls to COVID-positive people will be made Thursday by the Columbia County Department of Health, Public Health Director Jack Mabb said. CommCare is an electronic medical records system adopted in late summer 2020 by several health departments in the region, including Greene and Columbia counties, as the pandemic reached its peak. The system came under fire for the method and detail of questioning critics believed invaded privacy and yielded little useful information. “It was good once the bugs were worked out,” Mabb said. “But it’s going to go away this week because there’s no reason for it now. With all the variants and changes in the virus in the last year, there’s no way for us to collect all the data. It’s a remnant of a very difficult time.” Rensselaer County was the only Capital Region health department to opt out of the system and refused to go back. For information, the Columbia County Department of Health can be reached by calling 518-828-3358 during business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. In Greene County, residents are asked to contact the Greene County Public Health Department by calling 518-719-3600 during regular business hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.