/ Articles / Local recovery numbers for COVID-19: To report or not to report?

Local recovery numbers for COVID-19: To report or not to report?

April 17, 2020 by Brian Jopek

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, among those entities providing near daily updates are the Oneida and Vilas County health departments.

As of Wednesday afternoon just before press time, Vilas County reported a total of 89 tests had been done. 

Of those, 74 had returned negative, 11 pending and four positive.

Of those four confirmed cases of COVID-19, the health department reported three of those patients were in recovery. 

The fourth was diagnosed on April 5. 

Oneida County, according to the website for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) as of Wednesday, was at five confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Getting recovery numbers is something people have brought up in various places, such as social media to include The Lakeland Times Facebook page. 

The state DHS announced a few weeks ago it wouldn’t be reporting statewide recovery numbers and as of press time Wednesday, its latest daily report didn’t include that information.

Locally, both Oneida and Vilas county health departments were asked about their policy regarding the reporting of recovery numbers and, as mentioned, Vilas County reported its recoveries as of April 8.

In Oneida County, public health director Linda Conlon said releasing that information has been discussed as well. 

She also noted, however, there were things to be considered. 

“We are trying to come up with a definition that captures true recovery,” she said in an email to The Times on Monday. “People can often see improvement and experience a relapse in symptoms, so defining recovery will be important before releasing those numbers.”

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at [email protected]

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