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IDPH Changes COVID Reporting Method; Local Numbers Change

[1]Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa officials have tweaked the state health department’s coronavirus website to better reflect some of the figures, especially with regards to COVID-19 test results.

Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services says they are shifting from individual tests to total tests on the website. She says that means that Iowa’s overall positivity rate will align with total test results. She says it will make it easier when home tests become available.

Previously the website kept track of how many people had tested positive. Now, it will instead track the number of TESTS that have come back positive. But this means that a person who has been tested four times will now show up as four results, so the numbers on the website have increased dramatically.

Because of the change, the numbers reported from northwest Iowa are significantly up. But remember these are now TESTS, and not people. Sioux County reported an increase of 182 from the end of last week to a total of 4894. O’Brien County reported an increase of 142 since then, for a total of 1915. Osceola County’s total was up 25 for a total of 691 on Monday, and Lyon County reported an increase of 9 for a total of 1444.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says the new way is the way they keep track of other diseases, such as influenza.