Does anyone have any idea why the numbers seem to be so extreme? especially when compared to the start of the pandemic back in March?
On June 14th, the CDC changed how they reported COVID. Up until that point, they CDC reported confirmed cases. After June 14th, they reported confirmed cases and probable cases. Probable cases include both those showing COVID-like symptoms, but also those who have a positive antibody test. So, they've had COVID at some point in the past, but no longer have it.
This is a common practice, according to medical researchers. But without understanding how including probable cases affects the numbers, it makes the uptick in cases look more dramatic than it is. Had the CDC been reporting both metrics all along, the numbers prior to 14 June would have likely been much higher, while any increases after that date would have been lower.
The number of new reported cases on 14 June was 18,307. Since the CDC change in policy, it has risen to over 60K. Prior to the change on 14 June, the highest number of reported new cases had been on April 24th, with 35.3K.
And this would still be fine...provided it wasn't used as a yardstick on policy. Pointing to increasing numbers of COVID cases, especially when compared to the start of the pandemic, is not a valid comparison. And any policy changes would be based on misleading data.