Framingham Reporting 15% of Active COVID Cases in Massachusetts; Number is Likely Not Accurate

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FRAMINGHAM – On Monday, the City of Framingham reported 1.511 active coronavirus cases.

Also on Monday, May 24, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts reported an estimated 9,804 active cases across the entire state.

If Framingham’s numbers are accurate, that means that 15% of all cases in Massachusetts are in the City of Framingham.

SOURCE questioned the City of Framingham’s active case number with interim Framingham Health Director Alex DePalo

Her response – “That’s a good point.  I will talk with our COVID team and reach out to the state to see if there are pending cases from the past that were never updated or can be closed out on our side.  Unlike the MA Dept. of Public Health or other larger health departments we do not have staff who are dedicated solely to data analysis and reporting.  If there is a group of active cases that can be closed we will be sure to make a note when we release that data.”

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health defines an active case as a positive case, confirmed by a test, within the last 21 days.

DePalo said active cases in city of Framingham are a “total number of Confirmed COVID-19 cases (information that flows into the state database from testing labs) less total Fatalities (information that flows into the state database from death certificates)  less total Recovered cases (this status is updated in the state databased by COVID team, based on individual case investigation for most cases, and information from hospitals and health care providers for complex cases).”

She said “cases are moved into a Recovered status when the individual has completed isolation and is not experiencing any COVID symptoms (including fever without a fever-reducing medication).  Isolation is a minimum of 10 days however it can be longer if symptoms persist or if the individual becomes severely ill.  It is a case by case determination.”

As of Monday, the City of Framingham had 6,522 recovered coronavirus cases.

Framingham has had a total of 8,278 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. Framingham has about 74,500 residents.

That means more than 11% of the City has been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

DePalo said the City coronavirus data is “a complicated system that relies on multiple layers of organizations and humans.  There can be delays in any step of the process.  Sometimes lab reports are delayed and so the number of new cases shows up in fits and spurts.  Sometimes death certificates are not issued quickly and so the clinical date of death and the reported date of death are different.  We do our best to make notes in our public information releases when these delays are evident.”

Earlier this month, SOURCE pointed out to the City of Framingham and the Framingham Health Department, it was reporting 15,300 more vaccine shots administered than were actually done.

The City of Framingham released data during the first week of May that 24,964 individuals were fully vaccinated. That number was correct, according to data from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

But the City of Framingham also released and published that 55,564 individuals in the City have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That number was wrong, according to the state’s data.

The Commonwealth is reporting as of April 27, that 24,964 individuals are fully vaccinated, 40,264 individuals have had at least one dose, and 15,300 individuals are partially vaccinated.

The Commonwealth considers an individual has had at least one dose when an “individual is counted as having at least 1 dose if they have received one or more doses of vaccine. This is measured as the total number of 1st doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine administered and reported, plus the total number of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson doses administered and reported.”

The Commonwealth considers an individual is “partially vaccinated if they have received only the 1st dose of a two-dose vaccine (currently Moderna and Pfizer).”

The City added those two numbers together and reported 55,564 individuals have received one dose.

The City has been adding those two numbers together for weeks, and reporting the wrong number for one dose.

“Thanks for the email, I have contacted the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health for clarification and you are correct.  I take responsibility for this error.  I did not realize that the count of “Individuals with at least one dose” included the “partially vaccinated individuals.”    I have let my team know and we will be sure to correct this and make a note in our future data reports.  I’m sorry for the mistake, it was not intentional,” said Interim Health Director Alex DePalo, to SOURCE after 9 p.m. today, May 6.

editor

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