State leaders talk test data and transparency in Georgia

Georgia News

ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia’s governor says the state is seeing a steady decline in patients testing positive for COVID-19.

State leaders assured that Georgians can be confident in the data but also said “We’re not perfect and we will own and fix mistakes and be transparent.

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, explains how state leaders talked about the test data snafu this week.

In the past week — Georgia’s Department of Health admitted to two mistakes.

First — the agency accidentally counted 231 antibody tests among positive cases which led to a decrease in positive cases between reporting periods.

“Public health data is not a simple process. It comes from many sources.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey

Second — the state agency admitted to including antibody tests in the total overall tests for the daily reports —

So 57,000 of the tests or 14-percent were antibody tests not COVID-19 tests. That made Georgia’s overall testing numbers higher — and reduced the positive to overall testing ratio.

“We were reporting this data one time a data we were getting pressure. We need more real time information every minute or 2-3 times a day.

Governor Kemp

“The website or data here and there is not the holy grail — it’s just one piece, it’s just one tool.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey

“Sometimes they may not have the time to check on these things.”

Governor Kemp

The State’s Governor is encouraging all Georgians to go for regular medical checkups now — things like dental screenings, eye exams and plan elective surgeries because he says some hospitals may furlough staff.”

Governor Brian Kemp says Georgia can count a new record — the state has less than one thousand patients hospitalized for COVID-19 — a 38 percent drop — since May 1st.

CVS has now opened 23 drive through sites across the state to expand testing efforts.

Tomorrow– The Governor will welcome Vice President pence at a round table discussion in Atlanta on reopening the economy along with Senator Kelly Loeffler.

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