Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pima County Health Director: A Map of Infected Individuals is ‘Meaningless’

Posted By on Tue, Apr 7, 2020 at 1:39 PM

click image Maps, like this one from Johns Hopkins University, are 'meaningless'.
  • Maps, like this one from Johns Hopkins University, are 'meaningless'.
Pima County Health Director Dr. Bob England said the county has recently received a lot of requests to release some kind of geographic data relating to who’s tested positive for COVID-19 and cautioned residents to not look to such data for any meaningful information.

Because the amount of testing that can be done is tied to the limited number of tests available, even the known case count is an under-representation, Dr. Engald said.

“For every case we’re reporting, there are probably 50, maybe even 100 others of milder illness or asymptomatic infection out there,” he said.

Considering the potential for widespread infection, England said any effort to map cases would be “truly meaningless.” He added that any records would only contain home addresses of sick residents, not where they were infected.

“If there are 20,000, maybe 40,000 people with this infection in Pima County at this point, if you live in Marana—it’s up there,” England said. “If you live in Green Valley, it’s up there. If you live in the foothills, it’s there. If you live downtown or in South Tucson, it's everywhere.”

Even though he said such an effort would be fruitless at this time, England expects the county to perform such a task in the future.

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Arizona had reached 2,575 as of Tuesday, April 7, according to the morning report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Pima County had 415 of the state’s confirmed cases.

The coronavirus had killed 73 people statewide, including 15 in Pima County, according to the Pima County Health Department.

In Maricopa County, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 1,495.

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