Reporting of COVID-19 cases by Collin County may come to a halt in the next few weeks as the state transitions to handling all public health contacts related to the virus for Texas counties.

The state entered the consulting contract with a vendor last week, Collin County Administrator Bill Bilyeu said to county commissioners at a May 4 meeting, and could begin handling all cases and contact verifications as early as May 6.

Around 2,000 to 2,500 additional staff made up of health care professionals will be hired by the state to handle all COVID-19 cases, which was previously done by each county after receiving test results from the state, he said.

Current cases in Texas counties will need to be uploaded into the state’s system, Bilyeu said, which could take a while.

“What we perceive happening, whether it’s two weeks, three weeks or four weeks, we’ll convert over to that state actually handling those contacts,” Bilyeu said.

Collin County staff will continue handling its current cases through the end of each case’s quarantine period, he said.

Bilyeu said the single-source system will ultimately create consistency in case management.

“The issues we’ve had in the past of people actually living in a different county or being a duplicate record will all be taken care of by the state in one system,” Bilyeu said.

However, the reporting may take a little longer on the state’s dashboard, which details reported cases, fatalities, recoveries and total tests for every Texas county, he said.

“Reporting is the secondary component to them,” Bilyeu said. “Taking care of the people that have tested positive and their contacts is their No. 1 priority.”

County Judge Chris Hill said this will likely result in the discontinuation of the county’s public health dashboard that has been reporting the county's new cases, active cases, recoveries, hospitalizations and deaths.

“They will control all the data, all the numbers,” Hill said. “Our dashboards and our daily reports may be limited in what we get from them.”