New contact tracing software Iowa implemented Nov. 5 — at the height of a statewide surge of COVID-19 cases — continues to cause problems, including crashes, lag time entering records and security issues that don’t let local health departments use volunteers.
“It has slowed down our follow-up significantly,” said Lynelle Diers, Wapello County Public health director. “We are finding out about people when their isolation is about over, which, to me, is very ineffective. I know the other system was not built for a pandemic, but why do you do this during a surge?”
The Iowa Department of Public Health contracted with DOMO, a Utah-based company, to create the software as a replacement for the contact tracing components of the Iowa Disease Surveillance System. If DOMO sounds familiar, that’s because it’s one of the partners involved in a $26 million no-bid contract to develop the Test Iowa Initiative.
It’s a huge Big 12 matchup the day after Thanksgiving when the 15th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones (6-2) visit Austin to face the 20th-ranked Texas Longhorns (5-2). Kickoff is set for noon ET. The Longhorns are a 1.5-point favorite in the latest Iowa State vs. Texas odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under is 57 (For this week’s latest college football lines, head over to our college football odds page).
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The state auditor and federal inspectors have determined Gov. Kim Reynolds’ decision to use $21 million of coronavirus relief money on a new computer system was “not allowable” and could result in Iowa losing the money if it’s not shifted by the end of the year.
“If the Governor does not redeploy these dollars to a lawful use, they will have to be repaid to the federal government,” State Auditor Rob Sand wrote in an Oct. 16 letter to Dave Roederer at the Department of Management. “That will result in a $21M loss for Iowa taxpayers.”
In July, Reynolds announced she had transferred $91 million of Iowa’s $1.25 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act, to the Office of the Chief Information Officer for technology upgrades.
Included in this was $21 million for the state to replace its budget, accounting and human resources computer system