22 Percent of New York State Residents Tested for Coronavirus are Positive, Ohio Refuses to Release Negative Test Data So No One Knows Rate in State


How many people have tested negative for the coronavirus in Ohio? That’s on a need to know basis, and Gov. Mike DeWine has decided you don’t need to know.

DeWine joins Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as the only two governors in the country who are actively defying a new federal law that requires all states to report “aggregate” coronavirus testing results.

Based on data reported from the other 48 states that are complying with the law, there is a wide variation in the percentage of those who take the coronavirus test who test positive.

New York State, which is one of the top three states in the country for the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed cases and deaths, has one of the highest rates. In the Empire State, 22 percent of people who took the test were positive, according to The COVID Tracking Project, so residents there at least know what they’re facing.

In contrast, only 2.9 percent of those who took the coronavirus test in Minnesota have tested positive.

Nationwide, the rate is about 12 percent.

Variations in this rate by state provides important clues about the burden of the disease, the CDC told The Ohio Star on Friday.

Due to decisions by Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health (OHD) Director Amy Acton, no one knows where Ohio fits in the spectrum of test results.

DeWine and Acton took dramatic action like closing restaurants and moving the date of the primary even as on Monday the state stopped reporting negative tests, The Ohio Star reported.

The COVID Tracking Project for Ohio continues to show the positive cases but the negatives were cut off after Monday.

Despite DeWine’s and Acton’s dramatic moves, Ohio has lagged behind every other state in the country in reporting the number of negative coronavirus tests in the state.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) said Thursday that every state must report aggregated data of coronavirus testing to it.

The CDC’s authority comes from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which became law on Wednesday.

Currently, ODH only shows the number of confirmed cases, number of counties in Ohio with a case and the number of hospitalizations.

A source at one county public health department told The Star that on last Saturday, they were told to stop reporting negative test data.

Last week, Acton and DeWine said they were operating as if 100,000 Ohioans had the virus, although Acton admitted she was “guesstimating.”

“I am not saying there are absolutely for certain 100,000 people,” Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, said at a press conference Friday. “I’m saying I’m guesstimating. If I’m guesstimating community spread, that’s my best number.”

Acton raised eyebrows Thursday when she said that because there is community spread of coronavirus in Ohio, at least 1% of residents in the state are likely to have the virus.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Coronavirus Testing” by New York National Guard. CC BY 2.0.






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8 Thoughts to “22 Percent of New York State Residents Tested for Coronavirus are Positive, Ohio Refuses to Release Negative Test Data So No One Knows Rate in State”

  1. Corona virus having a very dangerous impact on the whole world and we can only sit on our home to fight against it. I don’t know what happen to the millions of people who have lost their job due to this virus.

  2. In this time of a pandemic, we should all come together to fight against it and I want to request china to help other nations to fight against it.

  3. Rebecca Burke

    I want to take the contrarian’s point-of-view on this, knowing I have Ohio family including physicians and high-risk individuals who are pleased with the Governor’s actions. They have resulted in Ohio being way ahead of the curve, and likely will be one of the first states to get back to normal. On statistics, take care in criticizing the Governor for NOT releasing “negative” test results. Why? Because the public and the media do not understand statistics and will undoubtedly misuse that data to suggest a higher penetration of the virus than what is actually experienced. Public health officials should have that data, but not the careless media. Ex. If you have only tested 100 individuals (because their physicians think there it is likely that they have been infected) and you have 80 positives and 20 negatives, the media will conclude that the population has an infection rate of 80%, false as can be. If, and we are not there yet, we test everyone in the state of Ohio, all 11.6 million and have only 100,000 positive cases and 11,500,000 negative cases, guess what? That does not make for a juicy headline for the media. On the other hand, it also does not convince the public to use distancing measures for two weeks more while Ohio prepares to be one of the first in the nation to get back to work. Careful with those statistics, they can lie, and if they don’t, the media will make them into liars.

    1. Pam Bonesteel

      I being one of the “negative” cases in OH can say first hand my test was NOT done properly . The sample was taken wrong, the test took over 12 days to complete and the state is NOT retesting everyone that had a faulty test like mine. WHY because after staying home for two weeks we are seen as being “recovered” and no need for retesting. The truth is in the county I live in, getting tested is next to impossible

  4. Saul

    Time to jail these idiots. The internet never forgets and time is up Gov. Release the results NOW. America has no patience for those endangering the public health

  5. Tsmith

    Ohio refuses to test those with symptoms as well.

  6. Yvonne

    Why is he so afraid to report how many negative test there are? Is it because they are only testing those they believe have it? Or because he don’t want to lose his control of this power trip he is on??