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Gov. Murphy ‘completely confident’ in accuracy of New Jersey’s COVID-19 data

Gov. Phil Murphy is pushing back against criticism of the way the state tallies new cases of COVID-19, saying he is “completely confident” in the accuracy of New Jersey’s COVID-19 data.

News 12 Staff

Apr 6, 2021, 10:28 AM

Updated 1,198 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy is pushing back against criticism of the way the state tallies new cases of COVID-19, saying he is “completely confident” in the accuracy of New Jersey’s COVID-19 data.
Every day, residents are hoping the number of confirmed cases go down and instead, the number of vaccinations go up, and as the state prepares for a surge in COVID-19 cases, News 12 is looking into the accuracy of the data.
For example, there were more than 2,400 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 announced at Monday’s state briefing. Almost all of those tests were reported to the Department of Health within the last 24 hours of the briefing, but there could be a lag between the reports, and new tests don’t always mean new infections.
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Reasons for it could be PCR testing from clinics and hospitals are not always reported in a real-time basis. So, the positive tests could be anywhere from a few days or weeks old. Also, if a contact tracer interviews someone who says they were sick weeks or months ago, that information is placed on the state’s infection epi curve not by the test date, but by the day the person first felt sick.
The dean of Rutgers School of Public Health worked with the Murphy administration to develop the state's contact tracing, and says trends are more important than exact case numbers.
“I think he's doing the best he can with what knowledge he has from the data, and I think the data aren't perfect,” says Perry Halkitis. “If you have faulty data, you're going to give false impressions, and that unfortunately gets blamed on the messenger, when in fact, it's actually the data.”
Also, according to the CDC, people who were sick with COVID-19 can have levels of the virus in them for three months, and will continue to test positive throughout that time.


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