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NDDoH changes how they calculate the daily positivity rate for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing
COVID-19 testing(KFYR-TV)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:47 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota Department of Health is changing the way it reports the COVID-19 daily positivity rate.

The new daily positivity rate for North Dakota will start with a change in how it’s calculated. The equation was previously using total tests as the denominator, but now they’re counting only “susceptible test encounters,” or unique individuals susceptible to the virus. North Dakota Health leaders said the new equation will exclude people who were tested multiple times or who had previously tested positive.

They said this will make the daily positivity rate more accurate.

“Sometimes people think we may be doing this to make our percent positivity go down and that’s actually not the case here. We are trying to give the best possible data we can and that does result in a slight increase,” said epidemiologist Ben Schram.

Schram said the positivity rate will only change slightly. He said it will only be one to two tenths of a percent higher than previous calculations.

Tuesday, Sept. 15 high positivity rate of more than 12 percent includes the new calculation, using susceptible test encounters instead of total tests.

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