Provider Alert: DOH Delayed in processing reports from Clinical Laboratories

Action requested:
• Be aware of a delay since Tuesday 7/27/21 of DOH processing reports from clinical laboratories and routing these to local health departments.
• Call the WCHD 24-hour Communicable Disease Report Line (360-778-6150) to notify the health department of new COVID-19 and other reportable conditions this weekend.
• Local laboratories should call the CD report line and/or fax results to the confidential Communicable Disease fax line (360-778-6103) this weekend rather than rely on Electronic Lab Reporting to WA DOH to provide timely notification to WCHD.
Clinical laboratories directly report to WA DOH and DOH routes these results to local health departments via the Washington Disease Reporting System (WDRS), which is a key public health disease surveillance and response coordination database. This system is used for COVID-19 and other communicable disease/notifiable condition response.

On Thursday7/29/21 DOH became aware of data processing issues affecting all conditions from all submitters. As of Thursday afternoon there were approximately 80,000 records to be processed. They anticipated starting to process the backlog Thursday evening and completing processing by Monday. This impacted lab reports transmitted by laboratories after Tuesday, 7/27/21.

Because of the current backlog at DOH in processing these reports, we depend on local laboratories and clinicians to directly notify us. In addition, clinicians should always report notifiable conditions directly to WCHD even when laboratories are required to report.

List of Notifiable Conditions
Summary of Notifiable Conditions (Health Care Provider reporting) of Notifiable Conditions (Clinical Laboratory reporting)

Contacting the Health Department
360-778-6100 Main Call Line – available M-F 8:30am to 4:30pm
360-715-2588 Afterhours Answering Service – available after 4:30pm and weekends
360-778-6150 Communicable Disease Report Line – 24 hours a day 7 days a week
360-778-6103 Confidential Communicable Disease Fax – 24 hours a day 7 days a week

For more information, contact:
Whatcom County Health Department Communicable Disease Program
1500 N State Street, Bellingham WA 98225
360-778-6100 Main | 360-778-6150 24-hour Communicable Disease Program Report Line
360-778-6101 Fax