Update on reporting Covid cases in Montgomery County:
From Commissioner James Noack- Montgomery County Precinct Three:
In the past, the Montgomery County Public Health District would report lab-confirmed positive cases after initiating their contact investigation. A contact investigation is launched on all cases reported to the PHD from healthcare providers, testing centers etc. During the course of a contact investigation, the investigator gathers more than just the preliminary information which they receive on a laboratory report which is the patient's age and address. The investigator also contacts all individuals that the patient recalls coming into contact with in prior days, meaning sometimes, they must contact over 100 individuals.
Given the extensive and time-consuming amount of work that goes into a contact investigation, a large backlog of positive cases has been created. We became aware of this problem just yesterday and moving forward we have decided to begin reporting all positive cases received from healthcare providers before a contact investigation is launched. Today's numbers reflect a large spike due to the disclosing of all known positive cases, which are lab-confirmed, in the PHD's backlog.
We are often asked, do positive tests include rapid tests, antibody tests and PCRs? Or just positive PCRs? If it includes antibody tests- is it IGM, IGG or both?
Montgomery County Public Health District only reports lab-confirmed COVID-19 that are done by PCR, RNA, NAA, or Molecule testing. No antigen, antibody tests are mixed into our case counts. Rapid, antigen, antibody tests are not accurate enough and provide many false positives as well as false negatives to be considered for public health to use. IgG/IgM are not used either because of the same reasons.