Yesterday during a press conference, County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh pointed out that the numbers of positive tests reported by the state each day have errors such as duplicates and patients not from Montgomery County. According to Arkoosh, the county can spend two to three hours each day cleaning up the data. As of yesterday, the difference between the state and county number was 134 positive tests. The state number is higher.
Arkoosh also stated yesterday that the state number is the one being used in the formula to determine when Montgomery County can move from phase red to yellow. Once moved to phase yellow, the current restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic are eased. There are some other benchmarks as well, but the number of positive tests is one people can follow from day-to-day.
Hearing that a higher potentially inaccurate number is being utilized led us to ask some questions to the state. We emailed the Governor’s Office and received back these responses from Nate Wardle, press secretary of the Department of Health.
During press conferences in Montgomery County. County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh has stated multiple times that the data involving positive tests that the state provides has mistakes in it. She has pointed to duplications and patients misidentified as Montgomery County residents.
Once the data is corrected at the county level, there is a 134 difference as of yesterday.
During a press conference yesterday Arkoosh was asked which number the state was relying on to determine Montgomery County moving from phase red to phase yellow. She stated it was the state’s number.
Is the data corrected by the county being used by the state to make its numbers more accurate?
The data that we are providing is constantly being reviewed and cleaned, and if there are errors there are being rectified and taken care of.
We are continuing to look at data and what is an objective, statistical benchmark for counties and regions to hit as part of the reopening process.
How was 50 determined to be the number when it comes to the 50 per 100,000 residents formula?
The 50 cases per 100,000 is just one metric, which will be combined with others such as testing and available hospital beds and the Carnegie-Mellon modeling, to make a final determination about reopening in a region.
It is essential that we remember that we are continuing to work to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed, and the reopening process is being done in a measured way to prevent that from happening.
We followed up that question because we felt where the number 50 originated from was still not answered.
As we are looking at objective, statistical benchmarks for the reopening process, we determined that number would be one that would best represent when a region can move from red to yellow.
However, I can’t state enough, this is just one metric, which will be combined with others such as testing and available hospital beds and the Carnegie-Mellon modeling, to make a final determination about reopening in a region.
Let us know what you think in the comments.