“Gaming” the COVID-19 metrics not possible, experts say

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HUNTINGTON — When it comes to a system to measure COVID-19, West Virginia health officials have decided one that encourages testing, even if people attempt to take advantage, is better than no testing at all.West Virginia developed its county color-coded COVID-19 measuring system using a model developed by Harvard researchers, and tweaked that plan after officials determined it encouraged communities to not get tested for fear of negatively impacting the metric, thus keeping children out of school. Now, media outlets have reported communities have tried to influence the system by getting tested multiple times a day, mainly to get counties into football-playing territory. Gov. Jim Justice last week reported 13 incidences of this were found and the cases were thrown out. He instructed the director of the WVSSAC to come up with guidelines for testing players and punishments if coaches are found encouraging players to get tested multiple times a day. Those plans have not been released yet.While it seems a handful of West Virginians have tried to “game the system,” state coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said it would take a large, organized effort to really impact the metric, especially in larger counties. Smaller counties might be able to …

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