BOSTON (CBS) — Gov. Charlie Baker said the state’s daily coronavirus dashboard may no longer be the best way to convey the results of so many coronavirus tests. “At this point, it’s confusing to me,” he said.

“I think you can anticipate that some time in the next couple of weeks we are going to update the way we collect and present a lot of this information,” Baker told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.

According to the governor, when the state began publishing the daily testing numbers almost every test was a new one. Months into the pandemic, “we now have a situation where there are a number of people who’ve been tested multiple times.” This makes the number of total tests administered far higher than the number of individuals tested.

Baker said more people are getting tested for a variety of justifiable reasons from out-of-state travel, to coming into close contact with different people who have gotten sick.

“So we have some work to do now that we’re dealing with really large numbers and the possibility that somebody literally could have been tested — for all the right reasons– four, five, six, seven, eight times since last March,” said Baker.

“The other thing that creates an issue for people is the fact that if you just track the number that shows up every day and then you try and run it back over time against the baseline that’s created later on in that report, the number that shows up every day represents a particular moment in time: test processed, but the day the test was actually administered is where it lands in the report.”

The governor said he pays the closest attention to the seven-day weighted average, which was 1.2% as of Monday.

Comments (3)
  1. joebeckmann says:

    Finally the state is moving toward a real metric of the pandemic’s impact. For a virus frequently asymptomatic for most of those infected, reliance on tests measures only the panic, not the real risks. For almost a year we have known metrics like wastewater testing helps set a standard with which we can identify changes in infection rates for relatively narrow neighborhoods – served by sewers and measured by a few blocks. Early identification in changes in infection by those blocks allows a productive preventive intervention to target tests where early treatment may have the most positive impact.

  2. AC says:

    They should track deaths and hospitalizations via age Who cares about cases cases cases as the MAIN metric, you can have a case and be fine. Also test are unreliable so cases number may not be accurate. Deaths and hospitalizations are a better number to track and also absolute risk for the population of MA to give a perspective on reality.

  3. AC says:

    Also recoveries… would be a nice number to round out the statistics.

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