Officials: Newest COVID-19 numbers may not show 'true decline.' Here's why

Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 22:47:39-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — On Sunday, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths and positive cases showed significant declines from the numbers reported the day before. However, Michigan health officials say these numbers may not represent a true decline in COVID-19 deaths and cases in the state.

RELATED: 1,487 deaths, 24,638 cases of COVID-19 reported in Michigan

There were 95 deaths reported on Sunday, April 12, which is down from 111 deaths reported on April 11. Additionally, there were just 645 positive cases reported on Sunday, which is significantly down from the 1,210 reported from April 11.

Michigan health officials say a number of factors play into the recent drop, one being data reported over the weekend and the actual amount of lab tests being done during that time.

"Reported case counts may reflect a reduction in the amount of laboratory testing performed over the weekend and holiday," the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a release. "Single day fluctuations in the number of confirmed cases may not be significant, as a number of external factors can affect data reporting."

Data reported on Sundays have shown consistent decreases, MDHHS says, although there is limited data for comparison.

Some Sunday numbers have seen as high as a 25 percent reduction in data from the previous day. For example, there was a 25 percent drop in reported cases for Sunday, March 22, and on Sunday, March 29, there was a 3 percent drop. Again, on Sunday, April 5, there was a 25 percent drop.

Gov. Whitmer tweeted out earlier in the week that the state isn't "out of the woods yet," as Michigan still ranks third behind New York and New Jersey for the most cases and deaths from COVID-19 in the country.

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