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Local health officials say surge in Iowa COVID-19 recoveries related to change in data collection

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- After 5,000 COVID-19 recoveries were reported in just one night, many wonder what caused the spike.

The Deputy Director with the Siouxland District Health Department, Tyler Brock says it has to do with the state's data collecting.

Brock says Tuesday's numbers come from correcting the way the state has been collecting numbers. Up until now, some of the data that needed to be collected from individuals in the weeks after they tested positive, was not being recorded.

Brock says this could have been due to a bad or old phone number, misconnection on the patient's part, and other factors. Now because of this change, the state is able to better account for those people.

"We've had people that have passed away and that's obviously not a recovery. Aside from that, people are recovering. The thing with the state is, they made a correction to try to capture more of those people that had been lost during the follow-up process," said Brock.

As for what counts as a recovery, Brock says it's a matter of how long it's been since the patient has tested positive.

"After 28 days after the diagnosis, the person is considered recovered. If they haven't been notified that the person has passed away, or something along those lines, after 28 days that recovery is counted," said Brock.

Brock said because of this change in data collecting, health officials are expecting to see the number of recoveries continue to go up in large amounts.

Libbie Randall

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