ANSWERED: Is Every Positive COVID-19 Test Counted As A New Case?
The current surge of new COVID-19 cases has led people to try to explain it. You've heard the argument that more testing means more cases. That is, in part, true. That is why experts focus on other metrics such as deaths, hospitalizations, and the 7-day average of new cases.
Another theory about the rapid spike in new cases is that, at the state level, every test is being counted as a new case. It has been suggested that a single person who gets multiple tests will have each of those positive tests counted as a new case.
KPEL News reached out to the Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health Region 4 Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski with this simple question:
Do multiple positive tests for the same person add to the case count every time?
We got a quick response from Dr. Stefanski:
While individuals may be tested multiple times (and in some instances are positive over many days so may have more than one positive test result), our method only acknowledges the case ONCE. There is a review process to identify and remove duplicate lab reports.
Another question we're getting is, "Do our state case counts include results from antibody testing?" That answer is no.
The case counts that you see reported daily on the LDH dashboard are individual cases and only reflect positive viral tests.
Back on June 19th, LDH adjusted down the number of statewide cases by about 1,600 due to some duplicate data. Sources tell KPEL News that the new process for counting cases has been put into place to ensure there are no duplicate test results.
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