Texas Adds Probable Cases, Antigen Test Positivity Rate to Data Dashboard
Dec. 11, 2020
The Texas Department of StateHealth Services today will update the COVID-19 data dashboard to include additionaldata and to simplify the layout to improve functionality.
DSHS is adding case counts forprobable cases statewide and by county. Probable cases are those identifiedthrough antigen testing or a combination of symptoms and a known exposurewithout a more likely diagnosis. Reporting probable cases allows Texans to see amore complete picture of how COVID-19 is affecting Texas since both confirmedand probable cases represent active infections. For that reason, they will beincluded in the estimates of active and recovered cases.
In addition to the probable casecounts, DSHS is adding a positivity rate for antigen tests. This positivityrate, based on when people were tested, aligns with the most reliable positivityrate for molecular tests. These positivity rates, which show the percentage oftests taken in a given period that are positive, provide a consistent view ofthe severity of the pandemic over time because they most closely reflect theconditions when people were tested.
The configuration of the dashboardwill change to improve performance. Some tabs will be combined, and users willbe able to toggle between confirmed and probable cases, fatalities, and activeand recovered estimates by county on a single tab. Case and fatalitydemographics will also be consolidated onto one tab.
“These dashboard refinements arepart of our effort to continually improve our insight and response to theongoing pandemic,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “The developmentand increased use of antigen testing to detect current infections prompted theinclusion of probable case counts and the antigen test positivity rate in thedata we post daily. The trends in this and other data shape our understandingof the course of the pandemic in Texas.”
After several months of postingthree positivity rates for molecular tests, as previously announced, DSHS will retire the rates basedon when lab results were reported to the state and the legacy rate which usedthe number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over seven days divided by thenumber of new molecular test results over the same period.
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