Michigan officials had said they intended to begin disclosing probable cases and deaths. When the state finally began doing that on June 5, more than 5,000 cases and 200 deaths were added to coronavirus totals.
During a May 18, 2020 meeting between the Collin County, Texas Commissioners Court, officials detailed a new method for counting COVID-19 cases.
At the Collin County meeting, Aisha Souri of the county’s epidemiology department explained how the state’s revised definition for COVID-19 probable cases allows for those labeled as “probable” carriers to be counted as “confirmed cases.”
“So, for a confirmed case it stays the same, you still just need PCR [lab results]. But, now they’ve added a probable case definition. So, that still gets counted towards the case count. It’s different, it’s not ‘confirmed,’ it’s ‘probable,’ but it’s still a case,” she said.
Souri continued, “Meaning, if you use another testing method, not PCR, and if you have close contact with a confirmed or probable case – and if you did that lab work that was not a PCR you could be considered a case with or without symptoms.”
In another segment of the video, the epidemiologist went over a diagram showing how one “confirmed” COVID case who had contact with sixteen individuals would be counted as a total of 17 COVID cases by the CDC under the new “probable case definition.”
Next, Collin County Judge Chris Hill said the state of Texas “elected to adopt this new probable definition.”
He went on to describe how people with minor symptoms will now be counted as actual COVID cases, saying, “If you have a subjective fever and you have a headache, and you live in Collin County, you now meet the qualifications to be a probable COVID patient. It is remarkable how low the standard is now.”
“If you have one of the major symptoms, you have a cough or you have shortness of breathe, and you live in Collin County, then you can satisfy the definition for a probable COVID case,” he noted. “But I’m very concerned that we absolutely could see the numbers jump very rapidly in a way that is actually not indicative of what we’re seeing here in the community in the Public Health Department.”
The definition for COVID deaths was also updated, as Sauri told the Collin County Commissioners Court, “previously, prior to this definition, it was only if you had a positive PCR result that you would be counted as someone who died related to COVID-19. But now, lab testing is no longer required to be counted towards that.”
Meanwhile, coinciding with this artificial inflation of COVID-19 cases, mainstream media is hyping up the “second wave” of coronavirus, even claiming it will be “10 times more infectious” than the first round.
Charts showing spike in Michigan’s coronavirus cases are misleading
As America reopens, Michigan has been added to the list of states where coronavirus cases are reportedly already on the rise.
But the spike is unfathomable — more than 5,000 new cases in one day, according to SmartNews. Other news outlets such as Newsweek and NPR have cited an increase in Michigan COVID-19 cases but have included information explaining the increase.
Did Michigan see an increase in cases and deaths?
The short answer? Yes and no.
Last week, Michigan began releasing new data that included probable, not just confirmed, cases and deaths.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services defines a confirmed case as a person who has had a positive diagnostic laboratory test for the novel coronavirus. A probable case is defined as a person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and an epidemiological link to a confirmed case.
This change added more than 5,000 cases and more than 200 deaths that happened over two months to one weekend of the state’s reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Identifying probable cases and deaths provides a more complete picture about how COVID-19 has impacted the state,” said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the MDHHS, in an e-mail.
Continue Reading: Detroit Free Press
CDC wants states to count ‘probable’ coronavirus cases and deaths, but most aren’t doing it.
Fewer than half the states are following federal recommendations to report probable novel coronavirus cases and deaths, marking what experts say is an unusual break with public health practices that leads to inconsistent data collection and undercounts of the disease’s impact.
A Washington Post review found that the states not disclosing probable cases and deaths include some of the largest: California, Florida, North Carolina and New York. That is one reason government officials and public health experts say the virus’s true toll is above the U.S. tally as of Sunday of about 1.9 million coronavirus cases and 109,000 deaths — benchmarks that shape policymaking and public opinion on the pandemic.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works closely with a group of health officials called the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to issue guidelines for tracking certain illnesses. The guidelines are voluntary, though states generally comply. The goal: solid comparisons between states and accurate national statistics that inform public health decision-making.
Continue Reading: Washington Post