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Is Your Family Reported if You Test Positive for Coronavirus? OH Really? Finds Out

As of mid-December, several Ohio counties were still at the highest threat level -- purple -- for coronavirus.
Ohio Department of Health
As of mid-December, several Ohio counties were still at the highest threat level -- purple -- for coronavirus.

Although a COVID-19 vaccine has reached Ohio, ourOH Really? team is answering your questions about how positive cases are reported to county boards of health.

We received an anonymous question about whether family members of a person who tests positive are also counted as positive, even without a test. Dr. Kristin Englund, an infectious disease specialist with the Cleveland Clinic, says no.

"Cases that are reported to the county have to have a positive test, or have to have a clinician that states that this is very consistent with the coronavirus case. And then that would be reported as a 'probable' case, but not a positive case," Englund said. "We only report cases when there is a positive test. We do not count family members unless they have tested positive. They are used for tracing so that they know that they need to be quarantining and that they need to ultimately get tested if they are symptomatic. But the only cases that are used in statistics are clearly positive, laboratory-reported cases."

“OH Really?” is WKSU’s podcast which makes you part of the reporting process. Ask your question here:

Copyright 2021 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. A graduate of Hudson High School, he received his Bachelor's from Kent State University. While a Kent student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.