SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District will differentiate between current cases of COVID-19 and recent virus-related deaths from cases and deaths older than 14 days, city leaders said in a press release Friday.
Starting Sunday, the daily reported data will only include current new cases and deaths. All cases and deaths, including those recently added but older than 14 days, will be included in the data on a weekly basis.
The change in reporting is based on the following new guidance to local health departments from the Texas Department of State Health Services:
So that state and local COVID-19 data will most accurately reflect the current situation in your community, we encourage you to report cases arising from older testing as backlogged cases, and more recent cases as new. This will help us ensure that estimates of active and recovered patients are as accurate as possible.
The aggregated case totals of backlogged cases will be reported on the city’s COVID-19 dashboard each Sunday at 7 p.m.
“The public relies on our daily updates to understand the current extent of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community, and the inclusion of past cases and deaths confuses this,” said Assistant City Manager and Interim Metro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger. “We want to make sure the public gets up-to-date information from these daily reports so they can best determine how to reduce their risk.”
The release from Metro Health states that COVID-19 deaths are determined from death certificates and other sources, which are then investigated by the agency for confirmation.