Breaking News
More () »

Recent jump in state's COVID-19 positivity rate isn't much of a jump at all

The 14-day rolling average fell, despite the one-day jump.

HARTFORD, Conn. — It’s understandable if you got worried earlier this past Tuesday, when the COVID-19 test positivity rate almost doubled, from 2.3% to 4.2%. However, with proper context, the story behind the numbers is far more reassuring.

 All along, we’ve stressed that there is a lot of variation in those percentages from day to day, and that variation is not because the virus suddenly explodes in growth one day, and then shrinks the next. It’s because of more benign differences in test reporting.

Credit: FOX61
Tuesday reports are highlighted in orange.

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

The Tuesday reports are highlighted in orange. We still don’t know why, but the percentages have been far higher on Tuesdays than other days, a trend that goes back months.

The only day over the last month where that didn’t happen was the Tuesday after Labor Day, and that’s because the entire four-day weekend going back to the previous Friday was lumped in with it. Each time it jumped way up for a day, it slid right back down after that.

RELATED: Moratorium on pandemic electric disconnections ends Wednesday

Credit: FOX61
The 14-day rolling average is displayed in orange.

That’s why we look at test positivity as a rolling chunk of the most recent 14 days. It smooths out the ups and downs into a steadier line, which is represented in orange. As you can see, the rolling average has been trending down, not up.

Even on the Tuesday where the test positivity was 4.3%, the rolling average dropped slightly because two Tuesdays ago before that, it had been even higher.

RELATED: FDA strikes cautious, neutral tone ahead of Friday vaccine booster meeting

Tim Lammers is an anchor at FOX61 News. He can be reached at Tlammers@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.