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Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton explains that 5% number

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 17:15:04-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — During the state's daily coronavirus press conference on Wednesday, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton said that roughly 5% of the 14,764 tests for coronavirus have come back positive, but, she cautioned, that number is not likely an accurate representation of the infection rate in the state.

There have been around 14,764 people tested in Ohio for COVID-19, according to the newest figures released by ODH, but that number doesn't represent the real number of positive cases, she said. "I've seen roughly, and in some areas, a 5% positive test, but I don't have enough data to give you a firm (sic) on that yet," Acton said.

“We know that 40 to 70% of us are going to get it. We might not have it now. We might have it in the weeks to come,” Acton said.

According to Acton, while the number itself wasn’t “super helpful,” she used it to describe some of the data the state received. “I really don’t want to make any conclusions from that number,” Acton said.

According to the ODH director, when it comes down to Ohio’s numbers, the roll-out of expansive testing created a hiccup with the data.

“As you know, the government rolled out testing initially to public health laboratories, and we had a pretty good sense of what that group was, and we were following CDC Person Under Investigation (PUI) definition, but there was a lot of changes that happened very rapidly, and this is a rapidly evolving situation,” Acton said.

Later, when some private labs and hospitals started doing their own testing, those organizations used a looser definition regarding PUIs, according to Acton. Additionally, there are an unknown number of people who have the virus but were never tested and are staying at home.

It won’t be until the pandemic is over that health officials will be able to see how pervasive the spread of this virus was, she said.

“We will be looking back at this for years and years. There will be history books written; this truly is that once-in-a-generation, every-hundred-year experience, and we’re going to learn so much as a country,” Acton said. “We’re going to be learning so much more in the time to come, this data will be analyzed by a million people. There will be a lot of armchair quarterbacking, but I can tell you I feel very good about the actions we’ve taken in Ohio.”

There are now 704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

As of Wednesday, 10 people in Ohio have died from the virus - two in Cuyahoga County, one in Erie County, two in Franklin County, one in Gallia County, one in Lucas County, one in Miami County and two in Stark County.

New statistics released by the ODH show there have been 75 ICU admissions and 182 hospitalizations in connection with COVID-19.

The median age of patients with coronavirus is 51, with an age range of under 1 years old to 94. Of patients with COVID-19, 53% are male versus 47% female.

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