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Coronavirus In Ohio: Health Department Now Tracking Probable COVID-19 Cases

Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director
Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director.

The Ohio Department of Health is now tracking probable cases of COVID-19 in the state through a detailed case definition that the department says will help them study the spread of the virus.

The CDC is asking states to start tracing presumptive cases of COVID-19, under a case definition issued by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. Ohio had only been reporting lab-confirmed cases, but testing remains severely limited so not everyone who likely has the disease will get a test.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he wants to make sure the state remains transparent, so the probable cases and the confirmed cases through tests will be presented separately.

DeWine says the probable cases gives the state another statistic to follow and see if it's trending up or down.

"I would not think when we take those in connection with the old numbers and look at both of them at the same time, I would be surprised if they tell us something different," says DeWine.

The administration says the new case definition model can help the state track the virus in several situations such as in large residential facilities like nursing homes.

Ohio will also begin counting cases found using a new antibody test that identifies those who may not have had symptoms or had a mild case of COVID-19 and were never tested.

As of Sunday, Ohio has 6,518 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 86 probable cases. The state also recorded 248 confirmed deaths, and five deaths under the CDC's expanded definition.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus in Ohio? Ask below as part of our Curious Cbus series.