Local Public Safety official explains change in COVID numbers reporting

Thanks to Moore County Public Safety Director Jason Deal, we now understand a little more about the confusing COVID-19 numbers reported by the state last Thursday. On Friday morning, he shared information supplied by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) about the changes.

In it, state health official explain that they are “improving” the data to reflect the evolving knowledge of the pandemic in our state.

Two major changes

The reports now reflect two major changes. One, active cases are now calculated differently — shortening the active period from 21 days to 10 days. This is resulting in a huge difference in the active case count. Before the change, the TDH numbers reflected 36 active cases in Moore County. After the change, there were just 15.

According to TDH, the case count reports will now include figures for “Inactive/Recovered” cases and will no longer include data for “Recovered” cases. “Inactive/Recovered” cases will include people who are 14 days or more beyond their illness onset date (or, for asymptomatic cases, their specimen collection date). This will more closely align with what is now understood about the infectious period of COVID-19, as recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show most patients with COVID-19 are no longer infectious after 10 days. Previously, TDH considered a case recovered after a 21-day period.

Also, the 18 new cases that showed up last Thursday were in part a data correction. According to the state around 1,700 Tennessee cases were incorrectly assigned to the wrong counties based on patient-provide information. This could for example happen with someone living inside Moore County has a Tullahoma or Mulberry zip code, which is common.

“These cases will be corrected all at once, which will result in case counts changes for some counties,” the state said.

It’s a statement that tracks. On September 3, Moore County’s new COVID cases jumped 18 from 97 to 115. Since then, Moore County gained no new cases on September 4 and September 7, and one new case on September 5, September 6, and September 8.

The state now also provides county snapshots that show total cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and inactive or recovered cases on a county level. To view that daily report by county, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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