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Ohio Dept. of Health to begin posting county-level COVID positivity data Monday

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 14:36:51-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Beginning Monday, April 26, the Ohio Department of Health will add a visual dashboard showing positivity rates for COVID-19 PCR tests for each county in Ohio.

“Having county-level positivity data will present a picture that is both more accurate and more granular," said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, ODH chief medical officer. "Although COVID-19 test positivity data is a very valuable factor that can help determine a community's risk level for the spread of COVID-19, it really should, of course, be considered in concert with a variety of other factors in the community."

Some of those other factors include cases per 100,000 residents, the increase in daily cases, emergency room visits, outpatient visits, hospitalizations and ICU capacity.

Users will be able to hover each county and see that particular county’s COVID-19 PCR test positivity rate. The PCR test is considered the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it’s the most accurate and reliable test, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Vanderhoff said the department has been working closely with laboratories across the state to validate the positivity data to build this map.

"It's something our local health departments across the state have asked us for, and we're confident this information will now help better-informed decision-making in their communities. The volume of work that has gone into this effort has been significant," he said.

If a county has fewer than 20 tests administered in a given week, that county will be a very light color.

Each county will be colored by gradients of blue. This map will be updated weekly on Mondays.

“Much like the data for the case rate per 100,000 population, the positivity data is measured based on a 'frozen-in-time approach' for a previous two-week period," Vanderhoff said.

The ODH will continue to report both PCR and antigen test results statewide on a state level. Below is a News 5 visualization of that state-level data:

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