As far as I know, there is no such system to track positives versus negatives.Not sure if this has been brought up in this thread. Nick Saban test positive for COVID then has three negative tests in a row which would indicate the his positive test was a false positive.
When a state records a positive test are they retesting that individual again? If states are just recording positive tests whether they’re a false positive or not the total number of COVID cases should not by taken serious as any kind of metric.
I make this claim simply from the perspective of a computer-science expert and from general systems principles. The probability that some lazy government-salary person would have been so smart as to implement such a system in sufficient time for handling Covid statistics (or even in the 6 months since Covid has been a major problem) is infinitesimal.
> If states are just recording positive tests whether they’re a false positive or not the total number of COVID cases should not by taken serious as any kind of metric.
Well, that's what is happening (at least if you accept my above conjecture). [And as noted, different states hande what they do collect, differently.]
Nevertheless, it's the only kind of metric we have, and we have to do the best with what we have - while at the time assessing those values both with the proper grain of salt, and to the extent possible, applying guestimated fudge factors to try to correct the numbers as best we can. It's a heck of a conundrum for a scrupled statistician or data scientist. However, data-cleansing is the most laborious part of the data-scientist role. But how to clean, that is the question. Bottom line, we should consider any of these statistics to be accurate to no more than 1 significant digit. Yet we report them to about 6 significant digits, only because we are interested in their derivatives (rates) and you need to estimate to ridiculous levels of faux-accuracy just to get the derivatives to 1-2 digits of accuracy.