False spike in COVID-19 registration caused by computer error

Mitchell Roland, Reporter

A drastic spike in COVID-19 vaccine registration in Kittitas County last week was caused by computer error, not by people from outside the county coming to register for the vaccine.

The Kittitas County Incident Management Team (IMT) said in a press release last week the waitlist for the vaccine, which is only open to Kittitas County residents, had risen to nearly 100,000 people. Since there are only about 48,000 people in Kittitas County, this should not have been possible.

Kasey Knutson, a public information officer for the county, said the rise in registration was caused by a computer error, which has since been fixed.

“This wasn’t due to people outside of Kittitas County registering,” Knutson said. “What happened was an individual user put information into the system which triggered the system into thinking that there was 100,000 people registered.”

While the computer error has been fixed, Knutson said the county will continue to monitor the registration site and resolve any other errors as they appear.

Knutson said the county is currently focused on receiving the number of vaccines it orders. While Knutson did not have the exact numbers, she said the state did not deliver the number of vaccines the county ordered.

Last week the county was on track to administer 1,350 vaccines. For comparison, during the first week of their vaccine clinic when the county received their full order, they administered 2,165 vaccines.

“I don’t have any indication on what the status is going to look like from the state as far as whether or not they’ll have the supply to provide us,” Knutson said.

Washington State’s Department of Health released a dashboard last week with vaccination numbers for the state. In Kittitas County, a total of 6,032 doses of the vaccine have been administered. All residents of long-term care facilities in the county received their second dose on Wednesday, Feb. 3.