Today’s new totals from the Ohio Department of Health showed a big leap upwards to 475 lab confirmed cases setting a daily record for the state of Ohio. I’ve already seen disappointment on social media regarding the number.
As always, don’t overreact to any single day’s numbers. The trends are what matter when we analyze the data and the trend based on the date of first infection (blue line) is just as negative as it was yesterday. What might be accounting for uptick in reported cases is a big increase in testing. Today, 3678 new tests were reported – 1/3 higher than our previous best total.
One of the things that has made Ohio’s data easier to analyze over time is that we’ve had fairly consistent testing per day. It was safe to assume that we were generally testing just the sickest people and while we knew we’re missing the people with mild or zero symptoms, we could have confidence that the trend was an accurate reflection of the direction we were heading. If expanded testing means that we pick up more of those people, that’s a great thing! However, we will have to see if this is a one-day aberration or something that we’ll have to adjust for going forward (I won’t do that regularly yet, but if you cut 475 by 1/3, you get 317 which is very much in line with the recent numbers). One of the things we’ll watch on this one is that expanded testing where we pickup less sick people will result in the death rate starting to drop over time.