Why it is so hard for the Ohio Health Department to report recovery COVID-19 numbers when some counties do?

Until the CDC put out specific guidelines on how to gather the information, don't expect the numbers anytime soon.
Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 10:12 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Every day the Ohio Health Department reports more than 20 different COVID-19 numbers from deaths to new cases, number of Ohioans tested, deaths broken down by age, median age of deaths, even how many health care worker have contracted the disease.

One number it doesn’t post is how many recovered.

Explaining why the Ohio Department of Health doesn't report COVID-19 recovery numbers https://bit.ly/3dy15sQ

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Ohio State Department of Health has said from the beginning of the pandemic that until the CDC comes up with an exact protocol for who is considered recovered, and how to count them, Ohio will not be reporting recovered numbers.

That hasn’t stopped some counties from reporting cleared cases or recovery numbers.

For example at the time of this report, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health is reporting 4,150 total cases with 269 deaths and 1,666 cleared cases.

By cleared cases are people who tested positive, were asked to isolate by the county, and contacted the Board of Health after three days of no fever without taking medication.

While officials with the Board of Health said most people cooperate, and contact them, there are always cases of people who won’t.

That’s why the math doesn’t work out when you subtract deaths and cleared cases from total positive cases.

The other issue is that some county health agencies aren’t staffed well enough to track cases and keep constant contact with positive cases.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health can handle the work, as they have some 40 staff who only handle contract tracing.

Lorain County Public Health has enough staff, few enough cases, it can have daily contact with positive cases.

Lorain County currently reports 824 confirmed cases, 58 deaths and 477 recovered.

In one of Governor Mike DeWine’s news conferences weeks ago, he implied that people could do their own math by subtracting deaths from total cases in the state.

By that logic Ohio has had 45,537 with 2,704 deaths which would mean 42,833 people have recovered.

The problem with that is we know not all of those 42,833 have actually recovered, and could be somewhere in the middle of fighting the disease.

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