As the country continues to reopen, various media outlets have been quick to point out a spike in coronavirus cases for the state of Michigan. The Detroit Free Press, however, begged to differ and published a breakdown of the numbers on Thursday, describing how they could be misleading.
The Free Press cited reports by SmartNews, Newsweek, and NPR that all addressed the state’s rising COVID count. The newspaper’s verdict to the question of whether or not it was a true spike was “yes and no.”
Michigan reportedly released new data that included probable cases along with confirmed infections and fatalities.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services labels a confirmed case as someone who has had a positive lab test for coronavirus. A “probable case” applies to anyone who has been symptomatic and has a link to a patient with a confirmed infection.
The Free Press claimed that news websites reporting on these numbers have failed to denote the two different categories and have simply combined the two figures.
As of Thursday evening, Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker showed that Michigan had almost 65,000 cases, but it too factors probable cases into their totals.
“When states have data on probable cases and deaths, the dashboard includes those in [their] totals,” a Johns Hopkins University spokesperson told The Free Press. “Confirmed cases include presumptive positive cases and probable cases, in accordance with CDC guidelines as of April 14.”