The Methuen Board of Health data regarding case counts come directly from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and their surveillance system (MAVEN). We use the language and terminology per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, and recent guidance categorizes all confirmed or presumptive positive cases as positive.
The Board understands that case counts may be higher, due to a number of factors:
Testing capabilities have been increased by other area lab organizations and hospitals and not all of the test results are reported to DPH or the Methuen Board of Health; and
People may be asymptomatic (or have very mild symptoms) and do not realize that they may have COVID-19 and need to be tested; and
Providers may be offering diagnoses based on symptoms and history (rather than testing) and telling patients that they are likely positive and should stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days. (e.g, Someone might call their provider with a few symptoms and indicate that they were with someone from Biogen. In this case, the doctor may assume positive for COVID-19 and ask the patient to self-isolate at home for two weeks).
This is the process that the Methuen Board of Health and all local health departments are following.