Why aren't COVID-19 recoveries being reported?

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Wisconsin health officials provide daily reports with the latest numbers of confirmed cases, negative tests, and deaths, but what about recoveries?

During Friday’s media briefing, state health officials told NBC15 that keeping track of recoveries has been something talked about on an ongoing basis but that there is a reason why we don’t see that information each day.

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases says health officials have found reporting recoveries problematic because it can be difficult to accurately track it. “Those data aren’t collected by surveillance in a standardized way and we're hesitant to report something that’s not accurate or not based on fact.” Dr. Westergaard says once someone tests positive for COVID-19 they aren’t retested later.

The biggest thing health officials want people to know is COVID-19 is an acute respiratory infection. This means in most people, it comes and goes in one to two weeks. Of the number of reported cases Dr. Westergaard says the expectation is that the majority of people will recover.

He says overtime, the overall numbers should reflect that. He says choosing to report the way the department has been reporting the numbers is all a matter of accuracy but health officials continue to explore the best ways to be as accurate as possible.