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Monroe, state virus numbers differ

WOODSFIELD — Monroe County officials explained Tuesday why discrepancies sometimes exist between the county’s local coronavirus case numbers and those attributed to the county by the Ohio Department of Health.

The county reports its cases once a week on each Tuesday. As of Tuesday, Oct. 13, the county reported it has experienced a total of 122 confirmed cases since the pandemic began, along with 98 recoveries and 16 deaths. The Ohio Department of Health, however, listed that the county had confirmed a total of 121 cases, 93 recoveries and 18 deaths. Those numbers are found on the state’s coronavirus.ohio.gov website.

Linda Masters, administrator of the Monroe County Health Department, said the county’s coronavirus case numbers differ from those reported by the state health department due to the timing of new cases being reported.

“It’s the time of when new cases hit the system,” she said. “We might have a number higher because we’ve counted it but it’s not in the system yet, or the state has received a positive case notification but we haven’t been notified yet. That’s causing the discrepancy in the numbers.”

Masters said the differences in the reports are all in the timing that each department has entered the numbers into the system.

The county also is reporting two fewer coronavirus-related deaths than the state attributes to Monroe County. Masters said this is because the county considered the two individuals recovered prior to their deaths. However, the physician that tended to the individuals listed their cause of death as COVID-19, she said.

“That’s why the state counted it that way,” she said. “But on our criteria, they had met the recovered definition from the” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Masters said the two deceased individuals had completed the 14-day quarantine period and had tested negative for the virus.

“We had them as being COVID-19 positive, but then they had recovered and they had not been through the system and come back as positive,” she said.

Masters said she is unsure if the individuals tested positive at the time of their deaths or if the physician listed the cause of death as COVID-19 due to complications related to infection with the virus.

Those two individuals are currently included on the county’s list of recovered patients.

“They had been taken off our positive list and been marked recovered,” Masters said.

According to the county health department, the county currently has eight active cases.

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