State To Revamp COVID-19 Case Number Reporting
March 17, 2020
By Jessica Mathews/News@whmi.com
The state has announced new plans to update case numbers of COVID-19.
As of today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will begin reporting COVID-19 case numbers at a new time with new metrics. In a daily web update at 2pm, the department will provide statewide numbers for cases and deaths broken down by county, cases by age range in 10-year increments and cases by sex. The afternoon web update will include all information reported through midnight the previous day. As of 2pm Monday, one additional individual tested positive for COVID-19, an adult female from Macomb County with history of domestic travel.
Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says it’s important to provide the public with accurate data regarding this outbreak. She says as the number of people tested has drastically increased in recent days, their team has transitioned the way it prioritizes and reports testing. In order to provide case counts as quickly and efficiently as possible, the department will no longer report the number of persons under investigation, tests pending, referred for assessment and/or monitoring to date and total assessment and/or monitoring referrals under active monitoring. Providing accurate and timely public information in a rapidly changing situation is said to be top priority for health officials. As the statewide response changes to meet current needs, there may be additional changes to numbers reported.
A press release states “As new counties get cases of COVID-19 and more labs begin testing for the virus, the epidemiologists who track statewide data are gathering and analyzing information from many sources. They must work closely with local health departments and labs to make sure statewide data is accurate and complete. Health care providers, local health departments or others may publicly announce cases or deaths before they are included in the statewide count. Local public health departments are a great source of information and may report more details on specific cases than the state. Those public health resources will be redirected to case investigation and management. Local public health officials will continue tracing close contacts of new cases as part of their case investigation process".