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Connecticut Has Performed 11,000 More COVID-19 Tests Than Previously Reported

A sample ready to be packaged for coronavirus testing
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public/NENC
A sample ready to be packaged for coronavirus testing

The state has changed the way it reports testing for COVID-19, the result of which meant a one-day jump of about 11,000 tests reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Testing is important in coronavirus, and tracking that testing is important, too. But it’s not clear cut. For weeks, the state had been reporting the total number of patients tested. So if you got tested twice, you were only logged once. 

But that changed Monday, when the state updated its numbers to count all tests performed -- by definition, a larger number.

“By making this change it becomes a more accurate reflection of our actual daily testing volume in the state of Connecticut,” said Josh Geballe, Gov. Ned Lamont’s chief operating officer. The reporting switch made the total number of tests jump from around 80,000 Sunday to nearly 91,000 by Monday night.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the state Department of Public Health said the move was also done to align state data with reporting standards used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Reporting total number of tests is increasingly important as more people are tested multiple times,” said DPH spokesperson Av Harris in an email. “As testing capacity ramps up, we expect that more people could have repeated tests. This change will enable us to more accurately measure testing capacity and the number of tests being conducted going forward.”

It will also mean that Connecticut’s relative rate of testing, when compared with other states nationwide, could improve.

Copyright 2020 Connecticut Public Radio

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.
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