Fact Check: Are COVID-19 case numbers accurate?

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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We're answering your questions about how the CDC is reporting COVID-19 case numbers, with some saying those numbers might not be true.

Dr Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer for St. Joseph County, says he believes the numbers being reported appear unbiased and accurate. However, the reporting process can be tricky.

If someone who has tested positive for cornavirus, dies while battling other health conditions, is that included in the number of COVID-19 deaths?

This is called 'probable coronavirus deaths' and Dr. Fox says this is where things get difficult to track.

For example, if a patient dies from a heart attack but has tested positive for COVID-19, it's up to the judgment of the patient's physician to decide if there's probable cause this was coronavirus related.

“I don't see the shifting estimates of number of deaths as a conspiracy,” Dr. Fox said. “Most of the best national models reflect when stay at home orders were lifted or how successfully mitigation strategies have been implemented.”

Dr. Fox also says he's more confident in accuracy of the number of deaths, than the number of confirmed cases, since we know not everyone has been tested for coronavirus.

We'll continue to keep an eye on those numbers being reported by the c-d-c and bring you updates as those numbers change.