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MDHHS separating antibody testing in daily reporting figures

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Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 18:49:36-04

LANSING, Mich. — The state of Michigan is looking to test 15,000 people a day for COVID-19.

Now that antibody testing is becoming more common, the state has decided to separate that data.

"They kind of have different purposes. We want to be as accurate and transparent as we can," said Bob Wheaton, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesman.

More than 537,000 Michiganders have gotten tested for coronavirus since March 10.

More than 87% of those tests were to see if the person had COVID-19.

But more are getting antibody testing done.

MDHHS said adding up those tests separately can help track more than just the current spread.

Wheaton said the antibody test wasn't available at the beginning of the pandemic when COVID-19 testing began in Michigan.

The antibody test has only been available for a few weeks here.

"We actually didn't realize that was being lumped in with the other information," said Wheaton.

The state was able to quickly separate the antibody testing data from the diagnostic results.

"It was important for us to take that action to not skew the figures," said Wheaton.

Wheaton said the state was able to change the reporting system before data became inaccurate.

He said the state's percentage of positive COVID-19 tests weren't affected when the change was made.

Daily case and death reports were also not affected by the change.

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