HOUSTON — The VERIFY Team is working to get answers to your questions. Many people want to know how COVID-19 cases are counted. We took the questions straight to Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse to find out what's true and what's not.
CLAIM: If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and then tests positive again multiple times after that, each of those results counts as a new case.
FALSE: “They should only be counted once because it's the same name within a short period of time,” Persse said.
CLAIM: The number of positive tests is growing because the virus is mutating.
FALSE: “We have evidence that the virus mutated once in northern Europe. We expect that there is a good chance there could be more mutations in the future. But there have been no other significant mutations than the one that occurred in northern Europe,” Persse said.
CLAIM: If someone dies in a car wreck, but tests positive for COVID-19, that is counted as a COVID-19 death.
FALSE: “If someone dies in a motor vehicle accident and that is the cause of death, if they were simultaneously infected, it's not a contributing cause to the cause of death. Therefore, it would not be counted,” Persse said.
CLAIM: When a person gets tested, they will use the ZIP code of where they were tested and it will be reported for that ZIP code and not where the person actually lives.
FALSE: “The recording of the person’s test goes by their home ZIP code. So, it does not go by where they were tested, nor does it go by where they may have contracted the virus,” Persse said.