by: Summer Kelley
Surprising news during the Tuesday, April 28 COVID-19 Update for Dade County as administration shares that Dade County's positive COVID-19 case count has never topped three active cases.
During the Monday, April 27 COVID-19 Update, County Executive Ted Rumley said Dade County's number of positive COVID-19 cases was at 17. Later in the evening, that number dropped to 14. Rumley said the three cases lost were actually supposed to be counted for other counties and were a mistake by the state health department. About 35 minutes prior to Tuesday, April 28's COVID-19 update, Rumley said he received an email from Dr. Voccio the Regional Health Director for the Department of Public Health out of Rome, Georgia. The email explained that the finger prick blood tests, serology tests, would no longer be counted in positive COVID-19 case numbers. The decision to not count the positive antibody tests was made with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), but those that have already been counted in the current numbers will remain there as the Department of Public Health does not have the resources to go through and remove the cases at this time.
Rumley explained that a positive swab test means you have an active case of COVID-19 and should go home and quarantine for 14 days. The blood test, or serology test, tests for antibodies and if it is positive means you had COVID-19 or have it in your system. Those testing positive with the finger prick blood test could have been sick months ago. In fact, Rumley said that most of the people that have come to him after testing positive for the antibodies were sick back in December or January and thought they had the flu.
What does this change mean for Dade County? It means that Dade County has only ever had three active cases of COVID-19 with one deceased. According to the DPH, eleven of Dade County's reported 14 positive cases are actually positive antibody tests and not active cases.
"That is really big," Rumley said. "Folks, this is really big news, honestly. There is no telling how many people out there who had sickness during the holidays or were sick in January, February, and March and could have had it already."
For more information on COVID-19 response in Dade County, new meal delivery information from the school district and other information, watch the full update below.