Data for the state of Missouri show that once testing is up, the postivity rate drops. When the test goes down, the percentage of positive tests crosses again
ST. LOUIS – In the week of August 2, Missouri had 7,194 new COVID-19 cases.
The week of August 9, the state saw a weekly case number of 7,945.
While the number of cases increased by less than 800 cases, the state’s positivity rate decreased from 1
Because 55,995 missours during the week of August 2 were tested. The following week, the number jumped to 82,701.
In fact, in the week of August 16, cases dropped to 7,860, but the Missouri positivity rate rose to 11.35%.
In the week of August 16, the number of missourians tested dropped by nearly 13,000.
Positivity rate matters.
States use it to determine which travelers should spend two weeks in quarantine upon arrival.
State and local authorities use it as a factor when deciding where and when to lift or tighten restrictions.
Positivity rate was one of the factors that St. Louis County Executive Sam Page used when he restricted youth sports, which has since sparked violence and more protests from players who want to play and their parents.
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But at this point in the pandemic, how reliable is the positivity rate?
There is a negative correlation between positivity rate and test rates.
Data for the state of Missouri show that once testing is up, the postivity rate drops. When testing goes down, the percentage of positive tests ticks again.
Dr. Alex Garza, who heads St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, said test capacity in St. Louis. The Louis area is doing well. He said local facilities have equipment and staff to meet test needs, so fluctuations in testing come from elsewhere.
“What we’ve seen is a lower demand for testing,” Garza said. “So not so many people sign up to be tested. The best way to do testing is really, if you can test the whole population, but of course we can not do that, so we will have to take it with a little bit of salt grain. . “
Because the degree of positivity largely depends on people most people who feel ill or know they have been exposed to are tested, the task force places more emphasis on hospitalization data.
“It’s a good indicator of what’s going on in society,” Garza said. “It does not depend on how many tests are performed. It depends on who is most affected.”
Admissions in St. Louis is down.
However, even when considering the degree of positivity, it is important that the rate in St. Louis County is 5.8%, which is less than half the state rate and lower than 6.62% positivity in St Charles County, where high school athletes are allowed to play.
Dr. Garza said that while data has been a factor in the decisions made, there has also been a lot of discussion about what activities are considered high-risk, including youth sports. While he said his team measures different factors than some of them have been used to work out different rules and regulations, he said decision-making during the pandemic has been complicated and far from black and white.
“This is brand new,” Garza said. “We learn. The more we learn, the better we can make recommendations.”