Florida accuses the CDC of misreporting COVID-19 numbers on Sunday as confusion continues

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of misreporting the state’s COVID-19 numbers.

On Monday, the CDC reported that 28,317 new Covid cases were recorded in The Sunshine State on Sunday, a record-high that was reported by multiple media outlets.

However, the DOH official Twitter account fired back and said the CDC had overcounted the true 15,000 total. 

‘This is not accurate,’ the DOH tweeted on Monday evening.

‘Florida follows CDC guidelines reporting cases Monday through Friday, other than holidays. 

‘Consequently, each Monday or Tuesday, there will be two or three days of data reported at a time. When data is published, it is attributed evenly to the previous days.’

The Florida Department of Health claimed on Twitter that the CDC misreported COVID-19 data from over the weekend

According to the Florida DOH, a total of 56,386 cases over three days over the weekend – 21,500 on Friday, 19,567 on Saturday and 15,319 on Sunday. 

The CDC reported the data over two days instead of three, causing a high of more than 28,000 cases to be reported. 

The department then gave a potential reason for the error in a subsequent tweet.

‘They combined MULTIPLE days into one. We anticipate CDC will correct the record,’ the agency said in a tweet.

Florida does not report daily COVID-19 cases to the public.

Instead, starting in June 2021, the state decided to gather a week’s worth of cases and report the total on Friday afternoon.

State health officials cited the falling case and test positivity rate as reason for the change two months ago.

Florida reported a record-high 23,903 new cases on Saturday with the highest ever seven-day rolling average of 33,688, up 222% from the average of 10,452 seen two weeks ag

Multiple news outlets reported the state set a new record of over 28,000 cases a day, and a rolling average of 33,688, but the state DOH claims the CDC combined multiple days’ worth of data into one

In the time since, Florida has suffered the nation’s largest outbreak of the virus, accounting for 20 percent of active cases. 

Other states have followed Florida is the halting of daily case reporting, including Iowa and South Dakota.

Nebraska has stopped reporting on any county-level data at all, with only some individual counties throughout the state still making numbers public.  

The Cornhusker State’s COVID-19 dashboard is also no longer available to the public. 

This is the first time daily numbers from Florida have been directly reported to the public since early June.

Florida has been embroiled in controversy regarding their reporting of Covid numbers in the past as well.

Last year, Rebekah Jones was fired from her job at the DOH after claiming that she was pressured by supervisors to adjust case data to make reopening the state for politically viable.

Rebekah Jones (pictured) is a former DoH employee who was fired after saying the state was misreporting COVID-19 data

Gov Ron DeSantis (pictured) refuted claims that his state is misreporting data

Rebekah Jones (left) was fired from her job at the DoH in May, and subsequently set up her own version of the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. Her house was raided in December on allegations that she hacked state computer systems. Gov Ron DeSantis (right) refuted claims from Jones that the state was misreporting virus data, saying ‘obviously, she’s got issues.’

She also reported that the way Florida reported test positivity rate could be misleading because the state counted total tests rather than individuals tested, meaning one negative person could test multiple times and drive down positivity rates.

Jones launched her own version of a state Covid dashboard, using data leaked to her by her sources within the organization.

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis refuted Jones’s claims.

‘She was fired because she wasn’t doing a good job,’ DeSantis said in a news conference in December.

‘None of the stuff that she’s said was ever proven. You’d think that would be the end of it. Obviously, she’s got issues.’ 

In December, state police raided her home.

The Department of Law Enforcement reported that allegations that she had hacked DOH computer systems were reason for the raid. 

Exact numbers from the state can not be deciphered, but it is clear the Covid situation in Florida is dire.

Cases have increase more than eight-fold over the past month, from an average of over 3,000 cases a day in mid-July to now over 27,000 a day in mid-August.   

The CDC considers every county in the state to be of ‘high’ COVID-19 transmission.

Cases across the United States are still rising due to an Indian ‘Delta’ variant fueled outbreak.

Over the past two weeks, average daily cases have grown from 63,361 on July 27 to 124,470 on August 9 – a 96 percent increase in cases.

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