Letter: Health Department to release requested data

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thank you for the editorial posted Wednesday (“County must double down on transparency”). The county is doing everything we can to be as transparent as possible. Our goal is to provide accurate and factual information in a timely manner.

Below is a point by point response to the editorial:

• We will immediately start releasing age brackets for positive cases. We believe that releasing detailed information about deaths may violate patient privacy due the low number of deaths that we have.

• We are working with Novant Health and the VA hospital to provide the number of inpatient and intensive care unit beds as well as the use of such beds. We will strive to provide an approximate average per facility on a weekly basis; however the bed utilization may change rapidly. We will work with Novant and the VA hospital to provide the number of ventilators on hand as well as the ventilators being used weekly basis.

• The test result turn around varies pending where the test is administered and the priority of the testing. There are also different types of test from rapid test to standard test which impacts the timeliness of results.

• The Rowan County Health Department can conduct tests. We initially received three test kits from the state and more recently received 100 test kits. Our tests are sent to the state lab and are based on priority.

–Nina Oliver


Editor’s note: Nina Oliver is the Rowan County Public Health director.