COLUMBUS (WBNS) – Providing the public with an accurate picture of how COVID-19 has affected long-term facilities in Ohio has become increasingly more difficult because of discrepancies with the data.
After taking down a website it created last week because of problems with the numbers, the Ohio Department of Health re-published a list Wednesday afternoon of long-term care facilities with current COVID-19 cases among residents and staff.
But 10 Investigates has discovered the list is inaccurate and incomplete and does not include previously confirmed cases of COVID-19 in some of these long-term care facilities.
For example, Mill Run Rehabilitation Center in Hilliard – which was on the original list published last week by ODH – was removed from the current list.
This afternoon, a spokesman for Mill Run announced that it has experienced 37 cases of COVID-19 – including 6 deaths.
Currently, three of its 16 staffers who were infected by the coronavirus are said to still be recovering.
And yet, the facility is not listed on the Ohio Department of Health’s website.
10 Investigates also found facilities in 18 counties where COVID-19 cases had previously been reported have now been stripped from the ODH website.
The counties include:
Both Miami and Mahoning counties had previously reported COVID-19 deaths inside nursing homes.
Melanie Amato, a spokeswoman for ODH, acknowledged that there have been reporting “discrepancies” and that the department would check in with counties who were collecting that information.
She said prior to April 15, the counties did not have a uniform way to collect information about COVID-19 cases which is why they will provide a current update of cases.
The county and local health departments now have a “unified” form to collect that data.
When pressed about that failing to provide historical data on how COVID-19 cases prevent the public from getting a true and accurate picture of the outbreak among nursing homes, Amato said they do not plan to report historical data because there was no accurate way to compile the information prior to April 15.
“There was not an accurate reporting system for counties. That’s why the data was all over the board,” she said.