Washington Department of Health changes test reporting for COVID-19
The Washington State Department of Health announced Wednesday that COVID-19 testing data will soon be reported on its dashboard using the total number of tests completed. This marks a change from the current reporting method, which reflects the number of unique individuals tested.
Under the current reporting system, if someone had a negative COVID-19 test result in May then gets another negative test result in July, that person would have only been counted once. The most recent test would therefore not be included in the count. With this approach to reporting, the testing data does not fully reflect the actual testing volume or the current test positive rate, since only the first negative test for each person is included, the DOH explained.
“This new approach will give us the most complete and current picture of the actual amount of COVID-19 testing happening in our state,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “This also becomes important when comparing Washington state to other states.”
While the dashboard transitions to the new approach to reporting, testing numbers will not be updated, showing just preliminary data through Aug. 10. The DOH estimates the update will take at least a week.
As of Wednesday evening, health officials say there have been 64,702 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus statewide, and 1,724 Washington residents who have died from the virus.
Residents of Washington state can the Community Recovery-Oriented Needs Assessment (CORONA) survey to help state health departments better understand the impact of the COVID-19 on Washington residents and help communities recover. The survey asks questions related to behavioral, economic, social and emotional impacts and needs.