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New coding will help Ohio report COVID-19 recovery cases soon

Some data released Monday
Dr Amy Acton
Posted at 4:06 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 17:13:13-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton broke down some of the COVID-19 data the state has received during Monday’s press conference, and she says a small number of Ohioans who were hospitalized with the virus are now in the recovery stages.

Acton said hospitalization numbers are still high for the number of coronavirus cases in Ohio, mostly due to the limited testing available. Because there is a small supply of tests, only the state’s sickest and most vulnerable are being tested currently.

About 27% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio have been hospitalized and about 8% of those hospitalized have required intensive care. Acton said 5% of the total COVID-19 cases have required ventilation as of Monday.

Over the last few weeks, many people have been asking to see recovery numbers in Ohio’s COVID-19 data as other states have been able to track it throughout the pandemic. The Ohio Department of Health previously explained that the state didn’t have enough of those numbers to provide that data.

RELATED: Why we're not able to report how many people have recovered from COVID-19 in Ohio

Acton said on Monday that 80%, if not more, of people with COVID-19 are “at home and are not tested” because their illness is mild enough that they don’t require hospitalization.

“We know that many of them have potentially recovered at this point,” Acton said. “The onset of the first illness for our first case was around early February so we know folks in that category have recovered but at this point we just have the data of those we knew.”

Although the recovery numbers are not being announced in total yet, Acton said a new coding system for the virus will provide that information to state officials and that information will be released soon.

Starting on April 1, the ICD-10-CM code, diagnostic coding for COVID-19, was implemented to send data that provides deeper insight into hospitals and the coronavirus cases around the state. The data began to be collected Monday, Acton said.

As of Monday, Acton said the state can confirm that 303 of the state's COVID-19 cases have been hospitalized and discharged and of those 303 cases, 25% have reached the recovery stage of the virus.

“I know folks really want to see those recovery numbers, as do we,” Acton said. “Obviously our whole goal is to move all of us to that place of recovery and get us back to life as we want to return but know that we are working on that.”

The recovery numbers will be added to the Ohio Department of Health’s website, although the numbers will be marked with an asterisk as they will not be a perfect representation of recovered cases, Acton said.

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