Washington changes how it reports negative COVID-19 test results

Washington changes how it reports negative COVID-19 test results
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The Washington State Department of Health announced Wednesday that it will be changing the way it reports negative COVID-19 test results.

Currently the department’s reporting reflects the total number of unique individuals ever tested.

The department will soon be reporting using the total number of tests completed, which is a change.

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The state gave this example:

Someone who has a negative COVID-19 test result in May then another negative result in July would only be counted once in the current reporting approach. The most recent test would not be included. That means testing data does not fully reflect the actual testing volume or the current test positive rate, since only the first negative result for each person is included.

“This new approach will give us the most complete and current picture of the actual amount of COVID-19 testing happening in our state,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “This also becomes important when comparing Washington state to other states.”

The state said during the transition, the COVID-19 testing dashboards will not be updated and will show preliminary data through Aug. 10 using the old method.

DOH estimates it will take at least one week.