State Disputes False Claim COVID-19 Cases Being Overcounted

Jul 18, 2020

Credit Ohio Department of Health

State officials are pushing back against the false claim that COVID-19 cases are being counted more than once. 

The Ohio Department of Health says this derives from people misreading the reporting data. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.



Health officials from around the state say people who test positive for COVID-19 are only counted once. They say the false claim that individuals are counted more than once is a misunderstanding of the Ohio Disease Reporting System spreadsheets.


A line in the spreadsheet lists COVID-19 cases based on demographics including county, sex, age range, and the date symptoms started.


When more than one person matches these characteristics then the cases are grouped and entered in the same line of the spreadsheet.


This conspiracy theory of individuals being counted multiple times started circulating on a cable news outlet and social media.


Health officials say this is why it's important to ask the experts before interpreting the data.