DOH provides clarification on how rising case numbers are counted reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for clarity on the explosive rise in positive cases and how they are being counted.

Nate Wardle, Press Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Health provided the following response to

“When someone tests positive for COVID-19, it is possible they may live in a household with other people. If, during the case investigation and contact tracing process, it is learned that other people in the household have COVID-19 symptoms, they would be considered a probable case.

There are a few probable case definitions. One is for people who have a positive antigen test and symptoms, another, the one applicable in this instance, is as follows from the CDC:

•            A person meeting clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19;

So, this would mean they have symptoms (clinical criteria) and close contact exposure (epidemiological evidence) to COVID-19, which would make them a probable case.

This is not inflating the numbers or deceiving the numbers. It is part of the CDC’s case definition as a way to identify cases.

It is important to note, probable cases make up 6 percent of the total number of cases. More than half of these probable cases are the result of a positive antigen test. With how new antigen testing is, we expect the percentage of probable cases that is from a positive antigen test to only increase as we move forward.”

This is a developing story on