Dr. Scrase addresses confusion over how COVID-19 numbers are calculated | KOB 4

Dr. Scrase addresses confusion over how COVID-19 numbers are calculated

Patrick Hayes
Updated: August 19, 2020 10:39 PM
Created: August 19, 2020 08:35 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Dr. David Scrase, cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department, tried to clarify confusion about how the state is calculating COVID-19 case numbers.

The Department of Health clarified that the state isn't using the daily case counts that are publicly released to determine a 7-day rolling average. Instead, the number is calculated using the date the tests were collected, and the confirmed positive cases from those days.


"I think the confusion is that there is two different ways to report case counts," Dr. Scrase said.

Scrase said there is a lag in the reporting because some labs take a couple weeks to send their results, and recently, he said there was even a bigger lag.

"So our number was higher than what viewers at home and news stations were calculating-- using their own spreadsheets," Scrase said.

On Tuesday, KOB 4's tabulation of the rolling 7-day average of cases was 138, below the governor's goal of 168. The state's rolling average on Tuesday was 174 due to delays in reporting.

However, the data was updated through Aug. 13 on Wednesday, and the state reported the 7-day rolling average was 137. 

"Obviously, I couldn't be more excited, right? I need to go out of my way to thank every New Mexican that made a decision to protect themselves, their families and their communities and their whole state frankly," Scrase said.

The state is meeting all of the gating criteria to consider more reopenings. Scrase said he's cautious when recommending openings, but he understands that people need to return to some normalcy.

"As the physician on the governor's staff, I would love to see two to four weeks of sustained performance, but we really need to get back to a balance of being cooped up in our homes and having some sort of life," Scrase said.

The governor has not announced any changes to her public health order. It runs through Aug. 28.

Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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