Posted by on April 16, 2020 7:55 pm

Categories: Coronavirus in Pennsylvania Coronavirus in Schuylkill County Local News

State health officials say a fourth Schuylkill County resident has died from Chinese coronavirus infection. That’s the latest information from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health.

Further, another 24 cases of the virus were added to our local total, bringing that number to 236. That would be the highest number of positive Chinese virus cases in Schuylkill County on a single day.

Probably – Pennsylvania Now Includes “Probable” Positive Cases of Coronavirus

However …

The state health department now includes “probable” cases of Chinese virus infection in its daily county-by-county and overall state totals.

This is how the state’s coronavirus county-by-county website reflects the numbers, though on its main Coronavirus splash page, it just shows the total (27,000+) as “confirmed” cases:

pennsylvania coronavirus probable cases


pennsylvania coronavirus confirmed cases report

So, if you look at the last few days in Schuylkill County, you’ve seen total cases go from 9 on Easter to 4 on Monday, then to 8 on Tuesday, and then 12 yesterday. Now, today, using a new guideline for reporting positive cases — i.e. someone saying “you probably have the coronavirus” — our cases double in a day and reach their highest one-day total.

But of the 24, how many are actually confirmed and how many are probable? We don’t know.

For this reason, we’re discontinuing our charts that showed the rates of infection of the Chinese coronavirus. We tracked confirmed cases on that chart and now, there’s just now way of knowing. The chart, if it continued, would be tracking inconsistent data.

And why now, after all this time, are we including a “probable” total of positive cases? What, exactly, is a probable case?

At the beginning of the “outbreak”, the state did report presumed cases of coronavirus but then changed that category to confirmed cases, once the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began regularly confirming Pennsylvania cases.

Why Today?

It should be noted that the state started reporting this made-up number today on the same day the White House announced its formal plan to bring states nationwide back to normal. That plan relies heavily on the state data showing prolonged decreases in cases.

So, while you started seeing cases totals going on a downward trend, on average, locally and on the state level, the next day, the state comes out and starts adding cases that probably have the coronavirus infection.

In the two days prior to today, statewide there were 1,146 cases confirmed on Tuesday and then 1,145 cases confirmed on Wednesday. Today? That total’s back up to 1,245, a jump of exactly 100 cases day-to-day.

Critics of this take likely will be the ones who say we should “trust scientists” and “trust medical professionals” and the same tired tropes we’ve heard since the start of the pandemic.

To that, we say, if you went to the doctor and they said, “well, it’s probably such and such a disease,” would you trust that opinion?


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