Ohio Health Dept. changes how COVID-19 statistics are reported for nursing homes


The ODH discovered health departments may not have been reporting their information the same way

(WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is changing the way it releases COVID-19 statistics for nursing homes.

Each day, coinciding with the governor’s daily updates, the ODH releases figures on cases and deaths involving the coronavirus. But as we’ve learned this week, the state’s way of reporting information about nursing homes has changed.

“The Ohio Department of Health is only collecting data from April 15 to the present,” said ODH press secretary Melanie Amato.

While it’s obvious the pandemic started long before that, the ODH discovered local health departments may not have all been sending in the same information the same way.

“So at the state, we have no way to know if that data before April 15 was ever captured accurately,” Amato said.

Starting next week, the ODH will resume its once-a-week reports on nursing homes, relying on local health departments to gather information from the different facilities.

“The local health department is now the common denominator of recording this number, where it wasn’t before,” Amato said.

Going forward, nursing home numbers will not include previously positive residents or staff who’ve recovered, those who left a facility or were hospitalized, or those who passed away.

“It’s a picture of how many people are positive in that facility at that time,” Amato said.

Amato admits much of this is brand new to the ODH and the 113 county and local health departments across Ohio. She said there could be even more bumps in the road ahead as the state works to get as much information released as possible.

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