Another Headline about ‘More New Virus Cases!’ That Ignores the Increasing Number of Tests

staff member wearing protective gear performs a test for the COVID-19 coronavirus in a test facility in a tent outside Skane University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, April 29, 2020. (TT News Agency / Johan Nilsson via Reuters)

Newsweek offers a classic of the bad reporting of coronavirus genre, to declare, “New cases of coronavirus in Wisconsin are on the rise as people flock to reopened bars after the court reverses the residence permit. ‘

From that headline, you might think the new cases are because Wisconsinites flock to bars because the court is destroying the state residency scheme.

In any case, to give credit to author Jacob Jarvis, he acknowledges early in the play, “The newly reported cases are from infections that predate the end of Wisconsin closure.” But he strongly warns that “the state’s cumulative events during the pandemic have risen to 11,275, with 373 of those on Thursday, the third-largest daily peak of the month.”

Thursday May 14 was also the day the state took the most tests – 5,487. The percentage of tests that return positive has even halved in the past two weeks, from 12.7 percent to 6.4 percent. If you do more tests, you will get more positive results. The media inadvertently creates a discouragement from running more tests because every state that increases testing finds more cases, causing “Things are going on, the Oubreak is getting worse! Headlines.

The number of new cases on Thursday is the highest since then. . . Well, the previous Friday, which had 375. The worst day of the month for new cases was May 1, with 460! The sentence is, “The total of 373 new cases on Thursday is 19 percent lower than at the beginning of the month,” is equally accurate. There isn’t really a clear pattern in Wisconsin figures; Monday and Tuesday were particularly low – perhaps cases diagnosed over the weekend are less likely to be reported. The seven-day average was quite flat.

Wisconsin is doing quite well updated data publicly available. At the time of writing, state hospitals have a 69 percent capacity, with 68 percent of current coronavirus patients not in the intensive care unit. 1,260 fans are available. As the number of cases requiring serious care increases in the coming days or weeks, the state appears to have the means to address it.

All in all, the state does it. . . generally okay. Would you rather not see shoulder to shoulder on social media? Certainly. But the country is shutting down week nine of these measures. The longer and tighter you try to keep people locked in, the more pressure there is for a release.

But we know what story Daily beast readers want to hear: “The great, stupid Republican-led state supreme court ignores science, recklessly lifts the sensible limitations of the democratic governor, the stupid Wisconsinites will die.” Reopening bars can be a bad decision, especially if customers don’t make social distance efforts. But it’s hard to see why that’s exponentially more dangerous than it is now with the New York City subway, for example.

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