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Why does the department of health not report COVID-19 recoveries?

The West Piedmont Health District provides reports with the latest numbers of people who have tested for COVID-19 or have died after contracting the virus.

When BTW21 News shares these numbers, we are repeatedly asked why we don't report how many people have recovered.

The answer is simple.

The Virginia Department of Health does not track the number of recovered patients.

“We don’t track recoveries because recovery times are so varied and we don’t have the manpower to continue follow up with each individual once their symptoms are resolved,” said Nancy Bell, the district's Population Health Manager.

Health experts say reporting recoveries can be problematic because it can be difficult to accurately track them.

Other reasons why we don’t see that information each day are that there are varying definitions of “recovery” and recovery numbers are not always reliable.

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