EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — The El Paso Health Department changed the way it calculates active cases, and that led to a massive drop in that number Wednesday morning.
There are currently 8,152 known active cases, that’s 26,166 fewer than Tuesday.
“We’re just trying to streamline the system, to make sure the community –as well as everyone on the team here — has their eyes on the proper data to make recommendations going forward,” said Fire Chief Mario D’agostino, the head of El Paso’s Emergency Operations.
Previously, the health department would only mark a case as a recovery if they were able to contact the person who was infected and confirm they were symptom free.
If not, that person would still be considered an active case for 55 days.
Now the city has shortened that time-frame to 28 days.
D’agostino said El Paso is now taking a similar approach to that of other major cities in Texas.
Under the previous calculation system, El Paso was listed as having more than 34,000 active cases since mid November.
Health Director Angela Mora said the city has been working on this new system for a few weeks. She said it was often difficult for the health department to reach people who had been infected, and therefore, they would remain as an “active” case for much longer than they needed to be.
As for where things stand with the other numbers, El Paso reported five new virus-related deaths and 350 new cases.
The latest deaths include two men in their 60s, two men in their 70s and a woman in her 80s.
For a complete look at El Paso’s Covid-19 data, click here.