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COVID in Context: Interpreting cumulative vs. current positivity rate

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 10:54 AM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Brazos County Health Department releases the daily cumulative positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in the county.

That number represents the totality of local COVID-19 tests that have been conducted throughout the course of the pandemic.

Because that number represents approximately 12,000 tests over the course of 10 months, the cumulative positivity rate is not necessarily an effective measure of how rampant the virus is in Brazos County currently.

For that measure, agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculate a ‘current’ positivity rate that uses data from the last seven days. It uses the number of tests conducted in the county in the past seven days, reporting the percentage that was positive in that same time frame.

When doing those same calculations in Brazos County, a comparison can be made between the “last seven days” positivity rate and the cumulative positivity rate.

Per data from the Brazos County Health District
Per data from the Brazos County Health District(KBTX)

Tune in for COVID in Context weekdays on Brazos Valley This Morning, 4:30-7 a.m. on KBTX.

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