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County COVID-19 cases now at 11

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on Friday, May 1 changed the way it reports COVID-19 cases. This change is making the VDH dashboard show an increase in case numbers.

As of Tuesday, there were 11 confirmed cases in Charlotte County with two hospitalizations.

“Those of you in the media and the public that have been looking at our website, you will note that’s a big jump in the number of tests. That’s because we changed our methodology,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said.

According to Oliver, the change is so VDH can better track the percentage of positive tests.

With the change, VDH is now counting cases and tests rather than individuals.

Oliver gave an example of a single patient being tested four times for the virus. “What we’re doing now is,we ’re counting all four tests,” Oliver said. “That’s the difference.”

VDH uses several data sources to capture infectious disease data. The Virginia Electronic Disease Surveillance System (VEDSS) is how they capture case information and lab testing data. The Virginia Outbreak Surveillance System (VOSS) is how they capture outbreak information. These two systems connect in some ways, but are intended for different purposes according to VDH.

Starting May 1, VDH is combining both of these systems to give a better picture of how many COVID-19 cases are associated with an outbreak.

“We know individual people, especially healthcare workers and those in high-risk settings, may be tested more than once over time. This new method of providing test data also allows us to provide the number of tests per day. We believe these data (points) to be a better representation of SARS-CoV-2 testing in Virginia, and a better guide to the public and policy-makers as they assess availability,” a press release from VDH stated.

The VDH reported Tuesday that the commonwealth has 20,256 COVID-19 cases, which is an increase of 764 over the 19,492 reported Monday. The 20,256 cases include 19,357 confirmed cases and 899 possible cases.

In the Piedmont District, which includes Charlotte County there are 287 confirmed cases and one possible case. There have been three confirmed deaths in the district as a result of COVID-19.