DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – Iowa announced a new process the state will use to report coronavirus data earlier this week. The new reporting method would report the total number of tests rather than individuals tested.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Iowa Department of Public Health’s Director, Kelly Garcia addressed the future change, “The expansion of testing approaches will further limit our ability and the Department of Public Health to monitor all test results at an individual level”, she said. “The shift from individual tests to totals tests, means that the positivity rate overall will align with total test results.”
The new process may explain the spike in positive cases since Friday morning. The change will also lower the state’s overall positivity rate because it will be divided by the number of positive tests and tests taken. The former method only counted each Iowan once, regardless of if they tested multiple times.
In a statement sent to TV6 in regards to the spike in positive case count, IDPH said, “Individuals often test multiple times during the course of a COVID-19 infection, resulting in them having multiple positive tests. Because we recently changed our reporting to reflect overall test versus individual test this increase in positive test is to be expected. This is also a reflection of how much testing is being done in the state.”
Iowa officials reported 27,335 additional COVID-19 cases and no deaths between 10:30 a.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the state’s coronavirus website.
That brings the statewide total to 358,957 positive tests and 5,336 deaths since the pandemic began. State officials also reported a 14-day positivity rate of 4.3% and a seven-day positivity rate of 3.8%.
Officials also reported 3,946,431 people have been tested for the virus.
As of 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 238 people were hospitalized, down from 241 reported Friday. Of those, 34 were admitted over the last 24 hours, 56 were in the intensive care unit, and 24 were on ventilators.
“As the governor mentioned in early October we made the decision to begin publicly reporting results for both tests by individuals and total tests. So Iowans could compare both reporting methods. Knowing that at some point it may become necessary to make a change that better reflects recent activity,” Garcia said.
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