May 23, 2020
State continues refinements to COVID-19 dashboard
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is continuing to refine how COVID-19 testing data is reported in an effort to ensure clarity, accuracy and transparency to citizens.
“The Governor calls on us as public servants to get better every day,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “As we continue to learn more about this virus and new tests emerge, we will continue providing better data with greater clarity and transparency to help Missourians make the best decisions for their health care possible.”
While staff has been following reporting guidelines as requested from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both retrospectively and going forward, Missouri is segregating different testing data types to provide the best available information to citizens. These are reflected in the current dashboard.
Some key changes in the data will include:
- A change in the percent positivity rate. The percent positivity rate was previously calculated as the number of positive COVID-19 cases divided by the total number of tests completed. The new calculation is the number of positive cases divided by the number of people tested (not the number of tests done). These changes will increase the rate of positive cases as reported through the dashboard. This is because each positive individual may have multiple tests done, increasing the size of the denominator (the number of tests) but not the numerator (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases). The previously-reported rate cannot be compared to the current rate.
- The tests performed by day will include PCR tests only, which indicates only if a person has an active COVID-19 case. Numbers will have decreased from previous days’ reporting because DHSS is no longer including people who received only serology tests in this graph.
- Given the marked increase in serology testing, DHSS is now reporting separate information on serology which is collected through a blood test to determine if a person has previously been infected and has formed antibodies against the virus.
The DHSS COVID-19 dashboard and a mobile-friendly version can be found at health.mo.gov/dashboard.
About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo