Governor's Tweet About Edmonson Positivity Rate In Direct Contrast With State Epidemiologist, Local Numbers
Numbers Still Don't Add Up
Darren Doyle, story:
Governor Andy Beshear's account tweeted a graphic today showing counties in Kentucky with a 5-10% COVID-19 positivity rate (total number of positives divided by the total number of tests administered). Edmonson County was included in this graphic; however, this information is in direct contrast to our conversation last week with the top epidemiologist in KY, Dr. Doug Thoroughman.
Dr. Thoroughman said "Even at the state level, we don't have a good way of accounting in a given county what tests have been given, or how many tests have been given."
He then described a process where all labs are asked to enter information into a daily survey, which is both total number of positives and tests, and break that down into what type of tests they are, but he described that process as "not very good because a lot of those people are repeat-tested so they can be in those numbers more than once."
"Nothing's perfect, I'll tell you right now, there's no good way to get positivity rate in any state, unless the state health department is the only testing body in the state, there's no good way of getting that."
Unless the state has figured out how to break this down county-by-county in just one week, this graphic cannot be accurate. The only numbers tracked by the regional health department are positive cases, deaths, and recoveries.
According to today's numbers for Edmonson County from the Barren River District Health Department, who doesn't track total amount of tests administered, there are only 14 known active cases in Edmonson County, which has a total population of 12,000. That means as of now, one tenth of one percent of the population of Edmonson County has been confirmed positive for coronavirus (.01%). That obviously isn't the way positivity rates are figured, but without knowing the total number of administered tests to Edmonson County residents, this rate simply cannot be figured.
Until the state can provide accurate data on tests administered county-by-county, The Edmonson Voice will not report positivity rates, as it would be irresponsible on our part to relay this equation without all the variables necessary to provide accurate numbers.