Coronavirus: The importance of tracking testing number trends

The importance of tracking testing number trends

OHIO — A rise in positive COVID-19 cases has Gov. DeWine and health leaders across the country on high alert.

While some of the numbers are tied to increases in testing, many doctors say there may be an increase in community spread as well.

In the last month, testing capabilities have increased and this has caused the statistics around positive cases to change.

Content Continues Below

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell looked into how to best understand these new numbers and how to stay safe.

He spoke with Ryan Smith who has been tracking COVID-19 numbers and trends.

“The absolute numbers don’t mean anything unless you talk about trends and how it relates to the number of tests,” explained Smith.

The Ohio Department of Health is also tracking the COVID-19 trends and publishes them on their website.

A 21-day trend show about 500 new cases a day that on Thursday shot up to almost 900.

It also showed the hospitalizations and deaths remained at normal levels or below.

Dr. Randy Mariott does not believe that all of Ohio’s increases in cases is caused by more testing.

He said health care professionals and policy makers like governors are very concerned about the percentage of positive tests.

“I think what we’re seeing now is truly an increase in case volume,” said Dr. Mariott.

White House leaders have been tracking nationwide COVID-19 numbers.

Most governors say when comparing total tested to positive cases, 10 percent or more is the danger zone.

Ohio’s latest numbers have crept up but are below the 10 percent mark. Texas and California have pushed past the danger zone, forcing new shutdowns.