Rapid testing reports affecting daily Mississippi coronavirus totals

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The daily totals of reported coronavirus cases have been a little inconsistent recently. The state has seen days as low as 273, and as high as almost 1,800. 

State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said that this has to do with increased use of rapid testing, which has a different reporting method from the more traditional testing. 

“It requires a nurse, and aide, a clerical person to go in there and enter it in each individual time,” Dr. Dobbs explained. “What we found is that that’s not happening and we’re having to constantly reinforced with the clinics to make sure they understand the importance.” 

Governor Tate Reeves added that there’s no way for the numbers to be 100% accurate because of many outside factors, but that they are working to improve the accuracy.

“We look at it primarily through providing that information to them,” Governor Reeves said. “We readily admit it is not 100% the White House numbers because they have a constant number of providers that are constantly of providers, we think it’s between 40 and 50% of all providers.” 

The traditional method of testing is automatically reported to MSDH electronically, whereas rapid testing must be done manually.

“It’s a little more labor intensive,” Dr. Dobbs said.

Both Dr. Dobbs and Governor Reeves agree these numbers will become more and more reliable as the issues around rapid testing is tackled.

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