To the Editor:
Your paper has been printing up-to-date information regarding new infections and deaths due to COVID-19 — but the needed accompanying facts are glaringly missing. We went a long period of time with few local infections apparent — but also apparently very low testing numbers. Then, suddenly more aggressive testing — and guess what, lots of new hidden infections likely there all the time, but no test, no evidence of infections. Now, likely in an effort to bring official infection stats down to appease business owners and parents with school age kids, testing is again limited, sporadic and tricky to obtain. We taxpayers pay for health department activity, and we subscribers pay the newspaper to provide meaningful, well-detailed info. So, telling us there are five “new cases” of COVID is meaningless without knowing how many tests were done to get those numbers. What are the local age groups most infected, and how many ICU cases are being treated locally, or shipped elsewhere, and where is “elsewhere”? I’m not talking intrusion of privacy, but facts that make the headlines meaningful. The silence concerning detailed, meaningful info is deafening, both from the health department, and the newspaper.
Editor’s note: The information presented about testing is not entirely accurate. After an uptick of cases was already recorded in Grant County, the health department offered curbside testing in early November, which identified more cases. Since then, the health department has been offering testing Mondays through Thursdays. The health department provides daily updates when new cases are recorded but does not provide the number of tests administered in those daily updates. The health department and hospital have declined to provide information about patient ages, intensive care or transfers due to patient privacy concerns, except at a regional level, which the Eagle has published.