Data Update Methodology

Massachusetts Reporting Change November 2, 2020

Well, the state did it again. That Charlie Baker certainly is sly. The state revised the daily dashboard to eliminate useful information and generally provide a more upbeat assessment of the state of coronavirus in Massachusetts. This is a quick summary of the changes as I’ve identified them so far. I will perhaps have more later as I work through the changes, and I will also have to modify the data updates to accommodate these changes.

There are three significant changes as far as I can tell. First, the state dropped information about the number of people tested for the first time each day, and the total number of people tested. This means that the newly tested positivity rate (which was significantly higher than the all test positivity rate) can no longer be determined, nor can the breakdown between newly tested individuals and repeat testers. While the state is still reporting new confirmed and cases,, they are no longer reporting how many new people have been tested to determine a positivity rate. [Update.  Likely my mistake. Although the state did drop this from the dashboard, I might have missed the first time tester information in the files to be downloaded.  I still might be able to calculate this].

Second, they eliminated the race/ethnicity report. This was a way to double check and properly scale the weekly breakdown of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by age group. They are providing certain information by age, but I don’t think at first glance that it will be sufficient to continue to do this calculation.

Finally, they eliminated suspected hospitalizations from the hospital count. Thus, you will see a significant drop in hospitalizations today. That is fake news. In fact, 33 confirmed patients were added to the total today.

Disappointing on the whole. In my opinion, the state should be adding information to the report, not eliminating it.

3 replies on “Massachusetts Reporting Change November 2, 2020”

Thank you for this analysis-; It’s good to have confirmation that I’m not going crazy when I saw today’s dashboard!

My town has been in the red for three weeks and now despite increased in cases we are in the yellow so anyone not following the data thinks things have improved. Changing the goal posts doesn’t change the data. Very disappointing

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