Iowans urged not to ease COVID-19 precautions as IDPH changes reporting methods – KCCI Des Moines

Health experts in Iowa say they hope the state’s new way of reporting positive COVID-19 tests won’t result in Iowans ending mitigation efforts.State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati and Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia unveiled the plan Wednesday during a news conference.Garcia said the new method, which is used in 33 other states, will change how the state reports statistics to show total COVID-19 tests instead of individual tests.“The shift from individual tests to total tests means the positivity rate will inevitably go down because the denominator will change,” Garcia said. Broadlawns Medical Center Director Dr. Yogesh Shah said that he approves of the new method but worries that Iowans will stop wearing masks and taking COVID-19 precautions if they see lower positivity rates.“That will give some consistency to the long term,” Shah said. “So, I’m comfortable, but I don’t want this time frame now to put our guard down.”He warns Iowans that COVID-19 does not fatigue and will continue to spread if safety measures are not continued.“(The virus) doesn’t know two things,” Shah said. “It does not know an international border, as we have known, and does not get fatigued. So please, let’s not put our guard down with new (the) method or not.”The Iowa DPH website will display new COVID-19 positive test data beginning Friday.

Health experts in Iowa say they hope the state’s new way of reporting positive COVID-19 tests won’t result in Iowans ending mitigation efforts.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati and Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia unveiled the plan Wednesday during a news conference.

Garcia said the new method, which is used in 33 other states, will change how the state reports statistics to show total COVID-19 tests instead of individual tests.

“The shift from individual tests to total tests means the positivity rate will inevitably go down because the denominator will change,” Garcia said.

Broadlawns Medical Center Director Dr. Yogesh Shah said that he approves of the new method but worries that Iowans will stop wearing masks and taking COVID-19 precautions if they see lower positivity rates.

“That will give some consistency to the long term,” Shah said. “So, I’m comfortable, but I don’t want this time frame now to put our guard down.”

He warns Iowans that COVID-19 does not fatigue and will continue to spread if safety measures are not continued.

“(The virus) doesn’t know two things,” Shah said. “It does not know an international border, as we have known, and does not get fatigued. So please, let’s not put our guard down with new (the) method or not.”

The Iowa DPH website will display new COVID-19 positive test data beginning Friday.