Today, our dashboards will show the addition of approximately 625 cases across three counties (Gila County – 270, Graham County – 142, Navajo County – 213). While these will appear as “new cases” for Friday’s case counts, these represent infections from throughout the pandemic, with 73% of the cases testing positive during the fall/winter peak (November through February) and none from March or April 2021. These cases represent reports where it was unclear what type of testing was performed and thus could not be confidently included in earlier case counts. More information is now available for these reports, and we can update case numbers to provide a more accurate picture of the trends in the pandemic. The COVID Cases by Day dashboard displays cases by the date of specimen collection; these newly added cases will help fill in the trends shown for these counties.
These newly added cases are also another example that surveillance data are dynamic and may continue to change as more data are collected and more information becomes available. Much public health data is not considered final for several months, as investigators find out more information about each case; data from many sources are cleaned, combined and examined more closely; and older reports trickle in from other places. We are fortunate that the daily number of new infections has dropped recently in our state — but one side effect is the greater visibility of the routine edits that increase the quality and completeness of information provided to the public.
More data on COVID-19 including trends in cases, testing, hospitalization, and vaccination is available on our COVID-19 Data Dashboard.