TAMPA, Fla. - Every day, the Florida Department of Health reports a lot of information about COVID-19 cases around the state. But the number of "recovered" coronavirus cases in Florida is not among the data.
The information the state provides is very extensive. Around noon and again at 6 p.m., they release information about total coronavirus cases, deaths, tests, hospitalizations, and more.
Some of that information is available in an interactive dashboard format, including the newly released ZIP code maps. More detailed data, including patients’ demographics and infections by community, is available in a detailed PDF breakdown.
But the state is not collecting or reporting the number of recovered patients, which is a request that some Floridians have. It’s one of the most common questions FOX 13 gets because many feel it would help paint a more complete picture of the pandemic’s effect on Florida.
The Department of Health explains, though, that there is no accepted definition of "recovered," which is why they are not releasing those stats.
"We do not currently measure ‘recovery,’ and don’t expect to have such a designation anytime in the near future. Recovery can mean a lot of things – some countries say you’re recovered 14 days from infection even if you are still sick, or even dead, based on a computer algorithm that calculates the amount of time passed since a case is first reported," the state explains on its website.
"The very definition of recovery is a contested issue – are you recovered once you’re no longer symptomatic, or contagious, once you get a negative test result, or no longer require hospitalization? Are you ever ‘recovered’ if you suffer long-term effects from having the virus? Until some of these issues and definitions are worked out at the local, state and national level, we will not be providing a metric for recovery."
FOX 13 has interviewed some local survivors about their experience recovering from the coronavirus, but getting an accurate statewide sense of the recoveries would require data from the state.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know
AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com
Map of known COVID-19 cases:
MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map