Pa. Coronavirus Numbers Not Available Because State Not Asking for Them

49628500452_4bcfc1541f_cHARRISBURG, Pa. (EYT) – While daily updates are being given in Pennsylvania for the number of new COVID-19 cases, there is a lack of information on the number of people who have recovered from the disease.

“We are not able to track recovery rates,” April Hutcheson, Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health told exploreClarion.com in an e-mail on Sunday, April 5.

Nate Wardle, Press Secretary from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, gave some insight as to why those numbers aren’t being tracked in an e-mail sent to exploreClarion.com on Monday, April 6.

“Pennsylvania hospitals are not reporting recovery data to the state, and we have not asked them to provide that information amidst of everything else going on and all the other work they are doing,” Wardle said.

According to Wardle, the Department of Health’s policy is an ongoing process.

“As things move forward, we are continuing to look at the data we are providing,” Wardle said. “If we choose to provide new data, it will be on our website.”

Pennsylvania State Representative Cris Dush, who represents Jefferson County, said that through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, he has been asking Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s administration to release that information.

“The House has been asking the Wolf administration for this repeatedly and been denied even though the information is available in other states,” Dush said in a Facebook post on Sunday, April 5. “The legislature, courts, and the medical community needs this information if we’re going to properly assess the overall impact and the progress of this disease.”

State Representative Donna Oberlander, who represents Clarion County and parts of Armstrong County, said she has seen some conversation on her Facebook page by residents requesting more comprehensive data to include recovery numbers and those no longer in the hospital.

“I imagine the belief is that more information would offer a more complete picture of what’s happening with the virus,” Oberlander said. “Is it peaking? Is it increasing, decreasing, etc.”

While some states are reporting recovery numbers, Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking worldwide recovery numbers on its website, said those numbers may not tell the whole story.

As of 4:48 p.m. April 7, there were 298,389 confirmed worldwide recovery cases out of 1,413,415 total confirmed cases and 20,191 recovered cases in the United States out of 386,817 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins.

In a disclaimer at the bottom of the chart on the website, it says the numbers are country-level estimates and may be substantially lower than the true number.

“When the map first started on January 22, the outbreak was centered in China, which was issuing reports on the number of recoveries,” Douglas Donavan, a Media Representative for Johns Hopkins told exploreClarion.com.

“The numbers are country-level estimates because official reporting either doesn’t or there is no uniform method of determining what recovered means. State health departments in the United States are becoming more and more sophisticated with their reporting. If a uniform reporting method is established across the United States, the team may return to reporting recovery figures per state.”


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