During the past week, local leaders have questioned if coronavirus numbers are being skewed by college students returning to campus. We learned the Alabama Department of Public Heath is working to count those students in the county they attend school and not their home county or state
Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said they're consulting with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists on how to count coronavirus cases contracted by students on college campuses.
"Some of their data is going to be reported in another county or can sometimes be picked up in another state," she said. "It really points to being able to report cases by jurisdiction of where the person lives for most of the year," Landers added.
She explained since that should be the area where the student goes to school, counting them in a county where their family lives which might be their listed permanent address wouldn't be accurate.
"As we continue to have cases in colleges where there could have been potential exposure using the address that student gives us from that college so that will give us the jurisdiction of where they were at the time they were exposed," according to Landers.
She explained having their college address makes investigating possible hot spots easier.
"If we have multiple cases linked to an entity college campus whether that be a fraternity or sorority house. Something like that we are still going to investigate that as an outbreak," she said.
Landers said the data on the dashboard should reflect student cases being counted in the county they attend school so the numbers shouldn't be skewed in other areas of the state.