DHS focusing on cleaning data

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that they would ramp up data cleaning efforts as the state sees cases of COVID-19 decrease. The capacity to focus on data quality has increased. In cleaning up data reporting, DHS is correcting positive case status from “confirmed” to “probable” if there was a positive antigen result instead of a confirmed PCR result to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID19. 


Data will change over time due to the cleanup efforts. Dashboards and data tables tracking overall cases or deaths and those showing newly reported “net” numbers each day may appear lower than normal in some counties or even negative. An example of this is that 3,000 confirmed cases were corrected to probable in the past several weeks, and approximately 800 confirmed cases were corrected to confirmed in the same time period. This led to a net decrease of 2,200 confirmed cases. To help public health follow up, recommendations for confirmed and probable cases are the same.


Charts that show confirmed cases and deaths by group housing settings are also undergoing quality assurance efforts, including matching addresses to long-term care and other living facilities to reduce the number of “unknowns” in the group housing charts. As a result, the percent of deaths where group housing setting was unknown decreased from forty-six percent to twenty-six percent.


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