Florida collects more data on COVID hospital patients than it shares with the public

They simply do not want the people to understand how bad this really is.   Cook the books, fake the numbers, don’t let it out so we can convince people it is a hoax like the Dear Leader king tRump says.   Lying and gaslighting has gotten to be as normal to Republican elected officials as breathing.   Hugs

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article244432507.html

The state agency that tracks COVID-19 hospitalization data gathers far more information than it shares with the public, including how many patients are suspected to have the disease but haven’t yet tested positive, how many are in intensive care beds and how many are on ventilators.

The Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA, also tells Florida hospitals in its data reporting guidelines dated April 19 to exclude from official COVID hospitalization numbers people who tested positive for the coronavirus but are being treated for other medical issues — even heart attacks and strokes, which are two conditions that can be associated with complications from the disease.

More detailed data would help researchers and public health experts understand the spread of the virus, especially by analyzing trends in areas such as hospital admissions and ICU volume. But AHCA shares only how many people are hospitalized with COVID-19 as a primary diagnosis, by county. The agency began sharing that information on July 10 after pressure from public health experts.

“There is so much granularity here that we could report on,” said Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of South Florida, after reviewing the guidelines. “… What’s being made available to the public right now is woeful.”

Salemi, who closely tracks the state’s COVID numbers and has built his own dashboard to monitor trends, said keeping stroke and heart attack patients who have a secondary diagnosis of COVID out of the official statistics could “muddy the waters” of the true number of cases.

He said it’s harder for epidemiologists to suss out trends and identify new hot spots with just county-level aggregate data.

 

alemi, the USF epidemiologist, said there is a general lack of transparency from state health officials on COVID-19 statistics, but he said the reporting of hospitalizations was particularly meaningful to better understand the virus.

“They’re clearly … receiving these reports,” Salemi said. “So why are we getting such aggregated information?”

More at the link above.   Hugs

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