This week's COVID-19 numbers - it's not as bad as it looks | WisCommunity

This week's COVID-19 numbers - it's not as bad as it looks

October 20, 2020 - 2:26pm
COVID Percent Positive by Day
COVID Percent Positive by Day

On the surface, the COVID-19 statistics for the last few days paint a really confusing picture. This graph is perhaps the most difficult example (percentage of tests that are positive by day). The world has not gone topsy-turvy but is mostly a side-effect of the upgrade that the state did over the weekend to the WEDSS system. This is the system the state uses to collect COVID-19 and other data from local public health offices. One change that occurred during this update is that the negative tests are now imported automatically, while the positive cases are still dealt with manually.

The upshot of this is that there was a huge lag in reporting positive cases over the last few days. In fact, there were no positive cases in the system for 10/17, which made all of our graphs pretty squirrely for that day. And now all of those positive tests are rolling in, which has made the huge spike in the graph above for today. A lot of today's positive numbers are actually from Saturday. This is an anomaly due to how the data was gathered, so please don't panic over this. 

There have already been a lot of statements in social media that this is because DHS is intentionally manipulating the data. This is not the case, it's just a system upgrade issue and will be ironed out as the week goes on. As always, what is important to observe is not an individual day, but the trend over the course of a week. So hang in there. Things are still bad, but nowhere near as bad as today's numbers would reflect. 

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Wisconsin COVID-19 Statistics