Updated data leads to jump in November and December coronavirus positivity rates in SD

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Health officials have been telling people to turn to the state website for the most accurate information on the coronavirus in South Dakota.

“We are the entity that receives all of the positive and negative reports,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton on December 9th. “It is important to note that when you are looking for the most accurate information regarding test positivity that the SD department of health is going to show that information.”

But if you read the fine print, the state’s figures are provisional and can change.

comment below the DOH COVID-19 dashboard

A new chart on the state website shows that South Dakota had higher statewide PCR test positivity rates over the last month than the DOH originally reported.

Here are a couple of examples of how the numbers have changed. On December 7th, the state reported a 12 percent positivity rate. According to the new chart, the one day positivity rate was actually 24.6 percent. On December first, the state originally reported a 14.9 percent positivity rate. It’s now listed as 27 percent. On November 22nd, the positivity rate has climbed from 12.2 percent to 21.4 percent. We found similar discrepancies dating back to mid November when the state started releasing the one day positivity rate.

We reached out to DOH Communications Director Daniel Bucheli. Here’s how he explained why the percentages are higher than before.

Data reported on the COVID-19 dashboard are considered provisional and are updated as additional information becomes available. We recently received updated laboratory reports that clarified some of the daily molecular test results originally reported to the SD-DOH, which were not previously included in our 1-day % test positivity calculations. Additionally, we continue to review and refine our calculations to ensure the most complete and accurate information is provided.

DOH Communications Director Daniel Bucheli

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KELOLAND News is covering the Coronavirus outbreak. We have created a guide to everything you need to know to prepare. We also have the latest stories from across the globe feeding into this page.